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Cross-country secures second place in home meet

Both the men and women’s cross-country teams were able to get a solid start to the season this past Saturday as both teams earned second-place finishes.
Despite placing, the Providence College Friars dominated the podium. PC took places one through six in the women’s race, giving them a score of 15 on the day. 15 points is the best score you can achieve in a tri meet. The ‘Cats placed second with 58 points, edging out Holy Cross who had 61. Senior Hannah Kimball was the first to cross the line for the Wildcats placing eighth with a time of 18 minutes, 22.86 seconds. Following up was freshman Margaret Champagne for ninth place with a solid 18:32.10.
“That first race your freshman year is a real challenging race, Margaret Champagne ran really well as a freshman for her first race so I’m really impressed with that,” head coach Robert Hoppler said.   “I think it was a good baseline. It was good to finish second in the meet, and I certainly was happy with the way Kimball ran and I thought our freshmen showed some really good things.”
The team was not at full strength for this first meet. Elinor Purrier was absent from the meet after coming off an extensive track season where she made it to the Olympic trials this past July. Senior captain Sarah Keiran and sophomore Shannon Murdock were also held out.
“We add those three to the mix and we’re a little better team than we showed today,” Hoppler said.
The ‘Cats have been the America East conference champions the past three seasons and will look to be in the running once more as the season develops, and the roster looks promising for a successful and an interesting season ahead.
The men’s team put up 50 points, beating Holy Cross’s 78. Providence had a score of 15 just like the women. Junior Timothy Kenefick was the first UNH runner to finish in a time of 15:41.91 which earned ninth place. Sophomores Brett Hoerner and Cody Symonds followed that up by placing 11th and 12th respectively. Nicholas Brown and Ryan Chiesa paired up for 14th and 15th respectively.
“Everyone is getting used to the mileage. Basically I really like what we have which is a great team bond going,” said men’s cross-country head coach Jim Boulanger. “We’re getting long runs in and this group has done really more mileage than they’ve ever done.”
One notable loss the men’s team has suffered this offseason was Drew Piazza, who transferred to Virginia Tech for his senior year. Piazza qualified for the NCAA championships for track and field last season and may have been impactful on the cross-country course if he chose to compete.
The men’s team is a very young team at this stage. Out of the 19 members that make up the roster, 10 are freshman, five are sophomores, and four are juniors. During this meet, senior Mitch Dutton and freshman Nicolas Ochoa-Sevilla sat out. This year should be a big year of development for the team between the cross-country and track seasons. Both teams will compete next at Franklin Park in Boston, MA. on Friday Sept. 16.

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