Men's XC To Kick Off 2010 Campaign In Amherst
Sept. 13, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass men's cross country team is revving up for the start of the 2010 campaign this Saturday at the Home Meet in Amherst, Mass. Coach Ken O'Brien will lead the Minutemen against Vermont, Maine, Amherst, and UConn as the reigning runner-up at last year's A-10 Championships. The Minutemen will add five newcomers to the squad this fall, while returning eight seniors. The start time for Saturday's meet is 11:40 am for the men, and 11:15 am for the women.
Returning to lead the Minutemen this season are seniors Daniel Barry, Kevin Johnson, David Johnson, Robert Deegan, Sean Duncan, Sonny Gamble, Andrew Mulvaney, and Scott VanderMolen. In 2009, the octet combined for 19 top five team finishes, along with five of the team's top overall finishes.
The Minutemen will have no lack of energy in 2010 with five freshmen being added to the cross country squad. Included in the 2014 class are high school stand outs Patrick McGowan, Paul Merriman, Jared Reddy, Antony Taylor, and Dan Joyce.
McGowan, a heavily touted high school star, was named the Boston Globe Scholastic, All-Scholastic Cross Country Boys Athlete of the Year in 2009 while at Mansfield High School. He also won the 2009 State Meet in 16:02, leading his school to the team championship. Adding to his accolades, the highly recruited freshman was named the Massachusetts Division 1 Cross Country state champion, posting a time of 16:05 over the 5K course.
Merriman joins the Minutemen from the Empire State and Fayetteville-Manlius High School. As a high school competitor, the freshman helped lead his squad to four league cross country titles, two regional and sectional titles (2008, 2009), as well as a state championship in 2009.
Reddy, a native of Methuen, Mass. earned Boston Globe First Team All-State honors in cross country as a junior and senior in high school, notching marks of 16:33 over the 5K course at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass. The freshman recruit recorded the fastest time ever by a Methuen High School Ranger at the 2009 Division 1 All-State Cross Country Meet by crossing the line at 16:11.8, good enough for third place overall.
Taylor, a recent addition to the sport of cross country, was crowned an individual cross country champion in 2009 at Arlington High School. The freshman also posted a runner-up performance at the MIAA Division II Cross Country Championships and the MIAA All-State Championships. Born in Bromley, England, Taylor competed in cross country, soccer, and track & field while at Arlington High School.
Joyce rounds out the freshman five, while hailing from Marshfield, Mass. The cross country and track & field competitor served as his team captain during his junior and senior seasons, helping to lead Marshfield High School to a total of five Atlantic Coast League Championships between the two sports. He was tabbed an ACL All-Star for all three seasons as a junior and senior.
Kevin and David Johnson return for their senior cross country seasons this fall. The impressive twin duo combined to finish first on the team in four-of-five meets last season. Each brother placed in the team's top five in every meet competed in, in 2009.
Kevin placed first on the team and seventh overall at last year's A-10 Championships in 26:57.8, helping to lead the Minutemen to a second place finish overall. David led the Minutemen at the UMass Nine-Way Meet in 2009, while finishing third overall in 29:38.00. Kevin was also an All-Atlantic 10 Selection in 2009, as well as named to the A-10 Academic All-Conference Team.
Experience At The Helm
Veteran head coach Ken O'Brien returns for his 43rd season of coaching in 2010. Continually, O'Brien has made the grade as far as success is concerned while at UMass. In the past two seasons, the Foxboro, Mass. native has led the Minutemen to an A-10 Championship (2008) and a second place conference finish (2009).
The 2008 A-10 Coach of the Year carries 19 conference titles, four New England Championships, two IC4A titles, and seven All-Americans on his resume. This year O'Brien adds five talented freshmen to the UMass squad, and will be assisted by former Minuteman standout, Matthew
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