Minutemen Set To Carry Momentum Into 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.
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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