Pioneer Men and Women Both Place Third in NEC Championships
(New Britain, CT) - Both the Sacred Heart Men's and Women's Cross Country teams placed third in the Northeast Conference Championships at Stanley Quarter Park Saturday afternoon.
Kimberly DeLoreto (Hillsdale, NJ) led the SHU women with a time of 17:42.2 for a third place overall finish out of the 101 women runners, while Jeffrey Lusignan (East Montpelier, VT) led the Pioneer men with a time of 25:47.5 in finishing fourth overall out of the 104 men runners. Daniel Koehler (Red Hook, NY) finished second for the Sacred Heart men's team and placed eleventh overall with a time of 26:01.7.
DeLoreto, Lusignan and Koehler each earned All-Northeast Conference honors thanks to their top-14 finishes on Saturday. DeLoreto earned All-NEC honors for the third time in her career, running the fastest time in Pioneer history for the Stanley Quarter course. Lusignan earned All-NEC honors for the 2nd straight year, joining John Kenworthy (2007, 2008) as the only men in program history to earn this honor twice.
Brendan Rickert (Danbury, CT) trailed just behind at 26:15.9 with a fifteenth overall finish. Rounding out the top seven fishers for SHU were Colin Seidl (Cochecton, NY) - 26:22.1, Richard Marcello (Foster, RI) - 26:39, Stephen Benoit (Wethersfield, CT) - 27:14.9, and Andrew Sullivan (Ellington, CT) - 27:21.7. The men finished in the top four for the fourth straight year. The Pioneers' top four men also beat the program's previous best time on this course. John Kenworthy ran 26:30.2 while placing 5th in the 2007 NEC Championship. Seidl ran the best race of his career, finishing among SHU's top five for the first time ever.
"I am extremely pleased with how the men ran today," said Head Coach Christian Morrison. "We had a bevy of outstanding individual performances. Going in we were hoping to place in the top two teams, but our guys couldn't run much better than they did. This was just a championship caliber team performance."
Brittney Lane (Greenwich, NY) finished second for the Pioneers for
the third straight week with a time of 18:31.9 and a sixteenth overall finish. She beat her personal best by nine seconds, and ran the seventh fastest time ever in program history. Also finishing in the top seven for Sacred Heart were Michelle Navarro (Piscataway, NJ) - 18:53.8, Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT) - 19:05.5 Brianna Castrogivanni (Commack, NY) - 19:08.7, Johanna Acosta (Hartford, CT) - 19:24.0, and Megan Papp (Niantic, CT) - 19:31.0. Navarro broke her personal best by 50 seconds while Castrogivanni set her personal best by 34 seconds. The women placed in the top three in the NEC's for the eighth time in the last ten seasons, and have never finished lower than fifth in SHU's 12-year Division I history.
"I am so proud of this group of young women, and thrilled with our 3rd place finish," said Morrison. "Our team has been decimated by injury and illness this season, and our prospects looked bleak heading into this race. Kim, Brittney, Alyssa, Michelle, Brianna, and the others came up huge today. With so many sophomores and freshmen contributing big performances, you can't ask for anything more."
CCSU won the men's title with 30 team points, while Quinnipiac finished first in the women's race with 34 team points. The Pioneer men finished with a team score of 74 points, their best finish ever in teh NEC's, while the women posted a score of 109.
The Pioneers will participate in the NCAA Regional Championship at Hammonasset State Park in Madison, CT Saturday, November 13.