CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- For the second time this season, Maine junior Kelton Cullenberg and senior Corey Conner have swept the America East weekly cross country awards. Both harriers came away with victories when the Black Bears hosted New Hampshire on Friday, September 21.
Cullenberg (Chesterville, Maine/Mt. Blue High School), the men's Performer of the Week, finished the 8k course in 25:21.6 to earn his second victory in three weeks and his third straight top five finish. The runner-up in Friday's race, teammate Ryan Hardiman, was 21 seconds behind Cullenberg as Maine occupied the top three spots. Cullenberg led his squad to a victory for the first time this season while capturing his second weekly honors.
In the women's 5k race, Conner (West Townsend, Mass./North Middlesex Regional), the women's Performer of the Week for the third time this season, continued her streak of impressive victories. This week, Conner's time of 16:52.1 was a minute and a half faster than the runner-up. In her three victories this year, her smallest margin of victory is 34 seconds and her average margin of victory is an astounding one minute and 30 seconds. For Conner, this marks the first time in her career she has been honored as the Performer of the Week in three consecutive weeks.
Also at Maine this weekend, New Hampshire defeated the Black Bears behind a third-place showing from junior Cayla Pellegrini (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy). On the men's side of things, New Hampshire fell one point short of beating Maine. They were led by senior David Gervais (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South) and his fourth-place run.
Elsewhere around the conference, the men and women from both Hartford (Ted Owen Invitational) and UMBC (Towson Invitational) finished third in their respective events over the weekend. Hartford was paced by junior Andrew Dwyer (Rhinebeck, NY/Red Hook) and his ninth-place showing on the men's side, while junior Megan Berry (South Yarmouth, Mass./Dennis Yarmouth Regional) registered a personal record in the 5k to earn a seventh-place finish in the women's race. For UMBC, junior Vinny DiSalvo (Washingtonville, N.Y./Washingtonville) paced the men with a fifth-place showing, while junior Kirsten McGovern (Sykesville, Md./Century) led the women's squad by taking third.
Cross country will swing into action again on Friday when four America East squads travel to Lehigh for the Paul Short Invitational. Boston U., New Hampshire, Stony Brook and Vermont will all make the trip to Bethlehem, Pa. Rounding on the weekend slate on Saturday, UMBC will visit the Mason Invitational while Albany will host the 46th annual UAlbany Great Danes Classic.
2012 America East Cross Country Performers of the Week
Sept. 5 -- Men: Daniel Denis (Stony Brook); Women: Annie Keown (Stony Brook)
Sept. 11 -- Men: Kelton Cullenberg (Maine); Women: Corey Conner (Maine)
Sept. 18 -- Men: Rich Peters (Boston U.); Women: Corey Conner (Maine)
Sept. 25 -- Men: Kelton Cullenberg (Maine); Women: Corey Conner (Maine)