UNH, UMBC Dethrone Stony Brook in XC Championship
Vestal, N.Y. - The University of New Hampshire halted Stony Brook University Women’s Cross Country team from extending their six-year reign of being the America East Champions, while the UMBC men claimed just their second title since becoming a Division I program at the 2013 America East Cross Country Championships hosted by Binghamton University on Saturday. The last meet held at Binghamton in 2005 also happened to be the first year that UMBC was crowned America East Champions.
On the women’s side, New Hampshire tallied 46 points en route to their first crown in 10 years. The Wildcats placed eight runners in the top-20, including a trio of medalists in freshman standout Elinor Purrier (17:55.62), junior Anne Twombly (17:59.99) and junior Chelsey Serrano (18:02.95), who placed sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Stony Brook senior, Olivia Burne ran a 17:54.31 5k to break the course record by a minute and a half, which was previously set by Stony Brook’s Leonora Joy in 2005 (18:04) en route to taking the women’s individual title. Seawolve teammate senior Annie Keown crossed the line shortly behind Burne at 17:54.31, good enough for fifth place. Stony Brook completed the day with 63 points for its first second-place finish since 2005. Vermont and Albany finished third and fourth, respectively, for the second-straight year, with UMBC rounding out the top-five team finishes.
The remaining top-10 individual winners were Albany’s Brittney Lane (17:33.34) and Silvia Del Fava (17:43.96) who finished second and third, respectively, Vermont’s Yolanda Ngarambe (17:48.06) and Kirsten Weberg (18:00.51) at fourth and eighth place, respectively, and Hartford’s Megan Barry ran to a ninth-place 5k at 18:02.44.
The men were neck-in-neck for a first place finish, with the top-four teams collecting less than 100 points apiece. UMBC grabbed first with two top-10 runners and 58 points, home team Binghamton just missed taking home the crown by seven with 65 points, and Stony Brook and New Hampshire took third and fourth with 70 and 72 points, respectively. Maine claimed fifth with 110 team points.
The two-time Performer of the Week, junior John Prizzi of New Hampshire, topped all America East men’s runners as he clocked in with an 8k time of 24:55.22. Prizzi’s time shattered the previously standing course record of 25:29 (Donald Drake, Maine, 2005) to take home the individual title. Maine senior Kelton Cullenberg was the runner-up, finishing just 2.38 seconds behind Prizzi with a time of 24:57.60. UMBC boasted five runners who finished in the top-20, including medalists Hassan Omar and Andrew Smith of UMBC finished at third and 10th. Also receiving individual honors included Maine’s Alexander Moser (4th), Binghamton’s Vasili Papastrat and Collin Frost (5th and 9th, respectively), Stony Brook’s Eric Speakman and Tyler Frigge (6th and 7th, respectively) and New Hampshire’s Jeffrey Moretti (8th).
New Hampshire received the Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year award with Robert Heppler at the helm, while UMBC garnered the recognition on the men’s side under the direction of Matt Gittermann. The recognition was decided upon by their fellow coaches.
Next up for America East squads are the NCAA Regionals on Nov. 15 in Bethlehem, Pa. (Mid-Atlantic region) and Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y. (Northeast region). For full results, photos, highlights and more, visit Championship Central on AmericaEast.com.