Due Northwest, MXC Bound For NCAA Regional Champs
Nov. 8, 2011
AMHERST, N.Y. - Building upon a solid fifth place finish at last weekend's A-10 Championship Meet, the UMass men's cross country team will test their its luck heading into this Saturday's NCAA Regional Championships in Amherst, N.Y. The NCAA Regionals mark's the second-to-last meet of the season for the Minutemen.
Tallying 127 points, Ken O'Brien's squad was able to register a fifth place team finish in a field of 14 conference squads two weeks ago at the A-10 Championships. Sean Duncan paced the Minutemen for a fourth consecutive meet, while garnering All-Conference recognition. The Gardner, Mass. native crossed the line at 24:44.0 while placing eighth overall. Sophomore Patrick McGowan trailed Duncan in 12th, while logging a mark of 24:54.3 and also being named to the All-Conference team. Antony Taylor, Jared Reddy, and Andrew Erwin were the final three scorers for UMass in Charlotte, N.C.
Between Duncan, McGowan, Taylor, and Patrick McAllister, 15 top five personal finishes have been recorded through five meets this fall. Duncan has placed first on the team in every meet he has competed in, while Taylor has yet to place out of the team's top five in any of the five meets he has participated in. Michael Giardina has been the crème of the crop among freshman, having scored for UMass twice including at the Bryant University Invitational (9/10) and Paul Short Invite (9/30).
At last year's NCAA Championships the UMass harriers combined for a ninth place finish in a field of 35 teams. None of the current roster's harriers participated in the NCAA Regional meet in 2010, but Duncan did race in 2009, placing seventh on the team in 35:53. The Championship meet is slated for a distance of 10,000 meters as opposed to the usual 8K that the Minutemen have ran all season long.
This Saturday's competition is slated to be held at the Audubon Golf Course while being hosted by the University of Buffalo.