The men’s and women’s cross-country teams spent last weekend at the Paul Short Run. The men’s team took first place in the Men’s College Brown 8K and the women’s team took ninth in the Women’s College Gold 6K.
“At the two-mile mark we had six of the top eight guys and they were kinda stunned,” head coach Jim Boulanger said, who was very pleased with how the meet went. He liked how there was only a 59 second difference between the runners who scored.
Leading the men’s team was senior Nicolas Sevilla-Connelly, finishing first overall for the second time this season and placing first on the team for the third time. He finished with a time of 24:26.9 to set a new personal best by nearly a minute. Junior James Wilkes finished fifth overall with a time of 24:53.7 as he also set a new personal best. After them were juniors Samuel Lanternier and Aidan Sullivan, as they came in close together at 25:07.9 and 25:09.6, but their positions would not suggest that. Lanternier finished 22nd overall and Sullivan finished 28th overall. Sullivan set a new personal best by almost 30 seconds.
Senior Alexander Saveliev finished fifth on the team at 58th overall with a time of 25:25.9 to set a new personal best. First-year runner Forest MacKenzie placed 77th overall with a time of 25:32.6 and senior Nicholas Brown rounded out the scoring finishing 87th overall with a time of 25:37.8. The Wildcats finished with a team score of 114, and the team in second place was Southern Connecticut State University with a score of 233. Binghamton University came in third place with 234 points. The Wildcats were the only team with two runners to finish in the top 10 and four runners to finish in the top 30. This race featured 394 runners from 45 schools.
Boulanger said, “it looked really good from my point because we were up front.” He also pointed out that it was a great day to run a cross-country meet. “The grass was cut nice and low, there was no dust in the air, I would say it was perfect cross-country weather.”
Boulanger looks for the younger runners to take over for the next meet and see what the future of the team can do. He said he plans to sit out five of the top seven for the next meet.
The women’s head coach Robert Hoppler also had comments on how he was also impressed by how the team was able to get out in front in such a large meet. He called in “a step in the right direction for the program, whether it’s the men’s program or women’s program. I think having that mentality to get up front and compete that way is reflective on both groups.”
The women’s team was led by senior Shannon Murdock in her second meet of the year. She finished 15th overall running 20:20.6 to set a new personal best. Next up for the Wildcats was junior Elisabeth Danis coming in at 30th overall with a time of 20:35.5 as she also would set a new personal record as well. Senior Margaret Champagne finished 43rd overall in 20:52, shattering her old personal best by about a minute and a half.
Coming in next at 76 with a time of 21:04.7 was junior Caroline Mahoney, as she also set a new personal best like most of her teammates. Sophomore Nicole Yeomans ran in her first college 6K and ran 21:53.8, finishing in 182nd place. Rounding out the scoring for the women’s team was Madeline Quigley, who ran 22:11.9, coming in 227th place, and junior Cayla Barretto, running 22:19.7 and coming in 245th.
The Wildcats finished in ninth place out of 43, in a race with 377 runners. The UNH women also finished with a score of 324. According to coach Hoppler, they improved about 20 spots from last year.
“We followed a plan and I thought the team executed the plan very well and the result showed. We were able to beat some pretty good teams,” he said after the meet. “We’re looking to build on this going into championship season.”
The Wildcats will be back in action on October 12 in the New England Championship meet at Franklin Park.