CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A pair of Stony Brook harriers came away with victories at this weekend’s Princeton Invite, dominating their respective fields. Sophomore Eric Speakman and junior Olivia Burne both earned America East cross country Performer of the Week honors after their standout performance. This marks the fifth time this season that teammates have been honored in the same week, and the second time for Stony Brook.
Speakman (Napier, New Zealand), ran away with the men’s 8k race, winning in a time of 23:58. He crossed the finish line 13 seconds ahead of the runner-up and was the only harrier from the America East squads at the race to place in the top 10. Speakman is coming on strong at the end of the season – having finished second in his previous race – and will be considered a top contender to capture the individual crown at this year’s America East Championship. This is the first Performer of the Week honor that Speakman has earned in his two seasons.
Also a favorite at the upcoming cross country championship, Burne (Palmerston North, New Zealand) cruised to a comfortable victory in the women’s race. Her time of 21:25 was nine seconds faster than her closest competitor. Burne’s strong run helped Stony Brook to a fourth place finish at the Invite and marks the first Performer of the Week honor of her career.
The UMBC men had a strong showing at the Princeton Invite, coming in fifth as a team behind the solid run of Brandan McGee (Hiram, Ohio). The Retrievers were tops among America East teams in that race with Stony Brook finishing eighth and Binghamton coming in at ten. On the women’s side, the UMBC women were the only other America East squad and finished 19th.
Elsewhere in the conference, the Hartford women took sixth and the men took seventh at the Father O’Neil Invitational hosted by Fairfield. Vermont ran at the Saint Michael’s Invitational and Albany, Boston U., Maine and New Hampshire took part in the Pre-National Meet in Louisville, Ky.
A trio of teams will compete at the Central Connecticut St. Mini Meet on Friday, with Stony Brook, Hartford and Boston U. all tuning up for end of the season action. All other America East squads will rest this weekend in preparation for the conference championship race to be held Oct. 27 at the University of New Hampshire.
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)
Oct. 2 – Men: Matt Paulson (Boston U.); Women: Laura Rose Donegan (New Hampshire)
Oct. 9 – Men: Rich Peters (Boston U.); Women: Monica Adler (Boston U.)
Oct. 16 – Men: Eric Speakman (Stony Brook); Women: Olivia Burne (Stony Brook)