Sept. 19, 2009
HAMDEN, Conn. (September 19, 2009) - The Sacred Heart men's cross country team brought home their second-straight team title winning the Quinnipiac Invitational on Saturday afternoon. The Pioneer women had a second place showing at the event that served as a warm-up for next month's Northeast Conference Championship. Sacred Heart junior Andrew Houghtalen (West Charlton, NY) was the men's top-runner in fourth place while junior Kimberly DeLoreto (Hillsdale, NJ) was the Pioneer women's top-finisher taking third.
The Quinnipiac Cross Country Course will serve as the site of the 2009 NEC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 31. Only two teams from the NEC did not participate on Saturday as Robert Morris and Saint Francis (Pa.) did not make the trip to Hamden.
The SHU men finished atop the 11-team field with 58 total points for their second win in as many weeks, a program first. Central Connecticut State took second with 88 points and Monmouth finished third with 95. The men placed all five scorers in front of second place CCSU's third runner, and put six runners in front of their number four runner. The Pioneer women were second in the field of 11 teams with 59 total points as host Quinnipiac claimed the top spot with 19 points. The Monmouth Hawks finished in third.
"We are very happy to win this preview meet today, but we're keeping things in perspective," commented head coach Christian Morrison. "There are a lot of good teams in the NEC, and we know we'll have to be at our best later in the season to have a chance to beat them. Our focus right now is squarely on the championship meets that come in October and November."
For the second-consecutive week, Houghtalen crossed the finish line first for the Pioneers, recording his second career top-five finish. Houghtalen clocked in at 26:07.1 to lead five Pioneer runners in the top-20 overall. Also finishing in the top-10 was sophomore Andrew Sullivan (Ellington, CT) who took ninth in a time of 26:36.7. For Sullivan, a sophomore transfer from Quinnipiac, it was his first career top-10 finish as he moves up to 15th on the SHU all-time list with a 42 second personal best time.
Running in 15th and 16th were sophomores Richard Marcello (Foster, RI) and Jeffrey Lusignan (East Montpelier, VT) who clocked in at 26:54.4 and 26:57.4, respectively, marking new personal best times for both. Crossing the line in 20th place overall was freshman Christopher Connelly (Medford, NY) who ran the 8K course in 27:03.8 to take over eighth place on the SHU all-time freshman list. Rounding out the SHU top-seven were seniors Ryan Murdoch (Salem, CT) in 23rd (27:06.5) and Brendan Rickert (Danbury, CT) in 29th (27:13.9).
For the women, DeLoreto led five runners who finished inside the top-20 on the day. The junior posted a time of 18:09.7 to take third and notch her first top-five finish of the season and second of her career. Finishing in the top-10 for the first time in her career was freshman Olivia Civardi (Brightwaters, NY) who took home 10th overall. Civardi, the reigning NEC Rookie of the Week, clocked in at 18:56.8.
Senior Sarah Tencza (Succasunna, NJ) ran 12th overall crossing the line in 19:03.4 while junior Samantha Troy (Lebanon, CT) took 16th in 19:19.9. SHU freshman Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT) ran in 18th overall with a time of 19:24.9.
"The women had a solid early season outing today, but we can definitely perform better. I think we may be able to contend for a conference championship this season, but we will have to keep progressing and improving to have a chance."
Both Pioneer teams will remain in state and in town next weekend when they take part in the Fairfield University Victor F. Leeber Invitational. The meet will start at 11:00 am.