Men's Cross Country Wins Atlantic 10 Championship!
Nov. 1, 2008
Charlotte, N.C, - The UMass men's cross country team was led by junior Jonathan Pierce (Hanover, Mass.) to finish first at the Atlantic 10 Championships this Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. The Minutemen's top five runners all placed all placed in the top 25 to give UMass a one point edge over Duquesne. Pierce finished the course in 24:22.8 to rank first overall for the Minutemen. This is the first time all season Pierce has led the pack for the squad. Finishing right behind Pierce was senior Nils Fischer (Stow, Mass.) with a time of 24:32.0 for 11th place. Both Pierce and Fischer were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference team for their finish, while head coach Ken O'Brien was named the men's Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
"The team has worked hard for the last nine months to put ourselves in a position to become a better distance running team," said O'Brien. "This was the first real test for our guys. After all the work they put in during the spring season and this summer, I'm glad they got the reward they were looking for and deserved."
Third on the team, 16th overall, junior Nicolai Naranjo (Essex Falls, N.J.) finished with a time of 24:45.0. Rounding out the top five were junior Andrew Mulvaney (South Hadley, Mass.) and senior Jesse Regnier (Hampden, Mass.), finishing 18th and 21st respectively. Mulvaney finished the 8K in 24:48.9 while Regnier crossed the finish line with a time of 24:54.4.
Totaling the scoring was junior Andrew McCann (Fayetteville, N.Y.) with a time of 24:59.3 to finish 23rd overall and sophomore Kevin Johnson (Ludlow, Mass.) who finished 30th with a time of 25:08.7. Not scoring, but finishing right behind Johnson, were sophomores David Johnson (25:09.5) and Sean Duncan (25:10.6) to take 31st and 32nd place.
Last year, the Minutemen finished third overall at A-10's. This is the first time since 1995 the Minutemen have captured the title, their second all-time. The Minutemen will take next weekend off from competition in preparation for the NCAA Regional Qualifier at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx on Nov. 15.