Freshman XC Class Looking Strong
Aug. 29, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - Six freshmen will accompany five sophomores, two seniors, and a graduate student on the 2011 UMass men's cross country team this fall. The Minutemen will face a tough field of competition highlighted at the Paul Short Invitational, A-10 Championships, and NCAA Regional Championships later this season.
The freshman traveling the shortest distance to come to Amherst is Zachary Florence from East Longmeadow, Mass. Florence's high school highlights include finishing 11th at the Division I Western Massachusetts Cross Country Meet in 2010, taking sixth in the 2011 Division III Indoor State Track and Field Meet in the two mile run, and posting a fourth place finish in the 2011 Division III Outdoor State Track and Field Championships in the mile run.
Next up for the Minutemen is Michael Giardina out of Lowell High School. The central Massachusetts native took 14th in the 2010 All-State Cross Country Meet in 2010. Track and field highlights includes finishing second in the mile run at the 2011 All-State Indoor Track and Field Meet, and posting a second place finish as well at the All-State Outdoor Championships in the same event.
The third newest Minuteman is John Mantia out of Coyle Cassidy High School. The Taunton, Mass. native took third place at the 2010 Division V State Cross Country Meet. The UMass harrier finished first in the Division IV State Indoor Track and Field Meet in the two mile run in 2011, and also placed fifth in the Division IV State Outdoor Track and Field Meet in the one mile run in 2011.
Patrick O'Donnell runs onto campus from Westwood High School where he finished fourth in the Division V 2010 State Cross Country Meet.
The final two additions to Ken O'Brien's cross country squad are Curt Owen and John Ryan. The former took 18th in the Division I 2011 State Cross Country Championships, while the latter of the harriers finished second in the Dual Country League Cross Country Championships.
UMass opens the 2011 campaign on September 10 at the Bryant University Invitational.
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