Men's Cross Country

Minutemen Set To Carry Momentum Into ISU Pre-Nationals

Nicolai Naranjo finished first for the Minutemen at last year's ISU Pre-Nationals.

Nicolai Naranjo finished first for the Minutemen at last year's ISU Pre-Nationals.

Oct. 15, 2009

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Coming off an impressive second-place finish at the New England Championships last week, the UMass men's cross country team will travel to the ISU Pre-Nationals this Saturday, Oct. 17, in Terre Haute, Ind. The meet, which is broken up into two 35-team 8k races for the men, Blue and White, will begin at 11 a.m. with the Blue race, while the Minutemen will run in the White race at 11:40 a.m.

Eight teams that are currently ranked in the most recent top-30 USTFCCCA Division I Cross Country National Rankings, will be competing in the White section along with UMass. The full field (national rankings noted) is as follows: #19 Arizona State, #6 BYU, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, #4 Colorado, Colorado State, Columbia, Dartmouth, Dayton, Eastern Kentucky, #28 Florida State, Illinois, Iona, #18 Iowa State, Lamar, Liberty, Louisville, Loyola (IL), Massachusetts, #30 Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, #21 New Mexico, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ohio University, #8 Portland, South Alabama, Southern Illinois, Southern Utah, Stanford, UC-Davis, UCLA, UC-Santa Barbara.

UMass' Entries: Jason Ayr, Daniel Barry, Sean Duncan, Zachary Gordon, Jeffrey Hill, David Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Andrew McCann, Andrew Mulvaney, Nicolai Naranjo, Jonathan Pierce

Last week the Minutemen were able to knock off nationally 16th-ranked Providence College while finishing with 117 points, good enough for second out of a field of 47. For the second week in a row senior Jonathan Pierce was the top finisher for UMass with a time of 24:42. Pierce was named Atlantic 10 Conference male cross country performer of the week, following his fifth overall finish.



Not far behind him was senior Nicolai Naranjo with a time of 24:49 good enough for seventh overall. Crossing the line after Naranjo were David Johnson and Zachary Gordon, who finished with times of 25:00 and 25:34, good enough for 12th and 38th, respectively. Andrew McCann rounded out the top five for UMass, finishing 54th overall with a time of 25:46.

Running with confidence, the Minutemen return four of the top five finishers at last year's ISU Pre-Nationals. Leading the way for UMass was junior Nicolai Naranjo who finished 97th overall with a time of 24:54.0. Coming in at 103rd and 106th place was senior and junior Jonathan Pierce and Kevin Johnson, with times of 24:57.3 and 24:58.2 respectively. David Johnson crossed the line in 24:59.0, taking 108th place, as UMass finished in 21st out of 41 teams 521 points.

The ISU Pre-Nationals marks the Minutemen's final meet before heading to the Atlantic 10 Championships on Oct. 31 in search of a second consecutive title. This year's A-10 Championships are being hosted by Saint Louis in St. Louis, Mo.


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