This past weekend, the UNH men’s and women’s cross-country teams headed back to Franklin Park, this time for the New England Championship Meet.
The men’s team finished 12th out of 25 teams with a team score of 315 on a squad where five of the seven scorers were first-year runners.
The women’s team won the meet with a team score of 63 to just edge out Dartmouth who scored 65. Their average time for the 5K was 18:07.8. Senior Shannon Murdock won the race to become the individual champion. The women won for the fifth time in the past seven years, dating back to 2013.
“We wanted to run in our groups, sit in the front and compete. It was nice to be able to beat some of the teams that had beat us earlier in the season I think that those are really strong teams and any time you can finish on top, it’s a privilege to be quite honest,” head coach Robert Hoppler said. The teams he was referencing were Dartmouth and Holy Cross.
The women’s team was led by Murdock’s first overall finish in just 17:37, setting a new personal record for the 5K. Joining her in the top five finishers were senior Margaret Champagne in third place and junior Elisabeth Danis in fifth place. Champagne ran 17:52 and Danis ran 17:55, her best 5K time as a Wildcat.
Junior Caroline Mahoney placed fourth on the team in 24th overall, running 18:32. Behind her was sophomore Nicole Yeomans and junior Cayla Barretto, placing 32nd and 33rd respectively with times of 18:43 and 18:44. Yeomans set a new personal best with that time. Finishing the scoring for the Wildcats at 38th overall was senior Madeline Quigley with a time of 18:52.
“It’s all about grouping up and we do that in training, so it’s always one of the goals to bring that to our racing,” said Coach Hoppler.
The men’s young roster was led by first-year runner William Curran as he ran 25:47 and finished in 32nd overall. Coming in second for the Wildcats was first-year runner Joseph McElroy finishing in 59th place with a time of 26:09. Next for the Wildcats was junior Dylan McLaughlin finishing in 70th place with a time of 26:23, and behind him was first-year runners Aidan O’Hern in 26:28 at 75th overall and Dillon Adamy running 26:31 and finishing in 79th overall in his first college 8K.
Coming in sixth on the Wildcats was first-year runner Aidan Toth, finishing in 26:52 and coming in 109th overall. Rounding out the scoring for UNH was senior Ryan Spelman running 26:55 and finishing in 111th overall. The team ran an average 8K time of 26:15.6.
“That group held their own, they ran well, and they ran just as well as last year’s varsity,” said head coach Jim Boulanger.
“I really ran the team that ran the open race the week before at Paul Short,” said coach Boulanger. He wanted them to try and shoot for the same times they ran at Paul Short and said on average they came around seven seconds of those times. He hopes that the runners can apply those times to other courses.
“Running is like a golf handicap, every course is different, but can you play to it?”
Coach Boulanger was pleased that the runners ran fairly close together, saying that it was only one minute and six seconds between the first runner and the seventh. He ran an overall young squad to see who would claim the last two spots in the conference meet since only 10 runners per team can participate.
Their next meet is at UVM for the Fall Foliage Invitational against the Catamounts, Sienna, Sacred Heart and Bryant on Oct. 19 at 1 p.m.