Men's Cross Country

A-10 Predicts Eighth Place Finish For Men's Cross Country

Michael Giardina is one of a few upperclassmen on this young UMass team.

Michael Giardina is one of a few upperclassmen on this young UMass team.

Sept. 10, 2013

AMHERST, Mass. - The men's cross country team was seeded eighth overall in the Atlantic 10 Conference by the coaches. The Atlantic 10 is now composed of 13 teams after conference realignment last year. In 2012 the Minutemen finished 12th of 16 teams in the Atlantic 10, however with last year's champion, Butler, and Xavier and Charlotte all leaving the A-10 and George Mason joining the conference, the Minutemen see an opportunity to move up in the standings.

In 2013 the Minutemen 23-man roster will be comprised of 18 freshmen and sophomores, Coach O'Brien said earlier in the pre-season that this year is about building a program. However with four of the top seven from last year returning, their talent and depth could make them a stronger team than the conference originally thought.

2012 All-Conference runner Antony Taylor is back as a team captain and will look to lead this young squad. Although with a strong runner leading the way in Taylor, the Minutemen will need to find success in pack running in order to be competitive and with the team's depth Coach O'Brien feels that will be its strength in 2013.

With four of the top seven returning, that leaves openings for returners or newcomers to step in and make an immediate impact. Last year's talented freshman class is now a year older and is full of runners ready to step up and contribute to the team's success. UMass welcomes freshmen Blake Croteau, Timothy Dostie, Paulo Tavarez and Owen Wiggins all of whom O'Brien feels are ready to help the team right away.

The Minutemen open their season this Saturday at 12:00 P.M. They host Vermont, Maine, UConn, Boston College, Providence College and Amherst College.




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