CAMBRIDGE, Mass - All
18 America East men’s and women’s cross country teams descend on the University
at Albany this Saturday for the conference championship race. The women kick
the day off starting their 5K race at 10:30 a.m. with the men following suit with
an 8K at 11:30.
America East coaches voted each of last year’s champions as the favorite to win
it all this year in the preseason polls back in August. The Stony Brook are in women
search of their fifth straight conference championship, the longest such streak
since Boston University won seven straight from 1996-2002. The Terrier men gun
for their 12th conference title after upsetting Binghamton in 2010.
brand new course will see its second action of the season Saturday. Several
America East squads got a preview of the terrain two weeks ago at the UAlbany
men’s race will feature three regionally ranked teams. Albany leads that pack
at No. 8 followed closely by Boston U. at No. 12 in the Northeast while UMBC
ranks 14th in the Mid-Atlantic. Boston U. grabbed four of the first eleven
places in last year’s championship en route to a team victory. Albany returns
its top four finishers from the 2010 race making the Great Danes a dangerous
team on their home course.
the men’s race is up for grabs but the front-runner looks to be Maine’s Riley
Masters (Bangor, Maine/Bangor). Masters earned Performer of the Week honors
three times this season and is the defending America East Champion. He and
Boston U.’s Rich Peters battled during the New England Championships with
Masters finishing two spots ahead of Peters. Meanwhile, Albany is in prime
position to win the 2011 crown on its home course. Performers of the Week Paul
Lagno and Chris Burke lead the way for the Great Danes.
collection of top performers on four regionally ranked teams provide some
excitement in the women’s race. Stony Brook’s top returner from the 2010 race,
Hayley Green, raced against top national competition all season for the No. 9
Seawolves. No. 14 Boston U.’s Katie Matthews took the individual title in the
New England Championships right ahead of No. 15 Vermont’s Morgan Powers. No. 12
New Hampshire’s depth, led by Elise Beattie, Sydney Fitzpatrick and Keely
Maguire, will be vital for the Wildcats on Saturday.
other competitors to keep an eye on this weekend include a handful of top-20
runners from last year. Albany’s Alex Leuchanka finished fourth and Richard
Sniffen finished 18th, Binghamton’s Vasili Papastrat finished 19th
a year ago, Boston U.’s Robert Gibson, Matt Paulsen and Peter Gilmore join
Peters for a strong returning core for the defending champion Terriers and
Vermont’s John Little returns to the championship race after a 10th –place
showing last year.
women’s field without the Van Dalen twins and 2009 champion Maine’s Corey
Conner, leaves the door wide open this year for a new champion. Stony Brook
sends Green and Annie Keown to the line. Green and Keown came in at 4-5 last
year and Olivia Burne just a few places behind them in 12th.
Albany’s talented duo of Kathryn Fanning and Emily Finnegan could be dangerous
on their home course while Maine’s Whitney Chamberlain and Vermont’s Bo Dunn
could also raise some eyebrows.
all of the action from Albany on Twitter (@americaeast) as the first conference
champions of 2011-2012 are crowned.