Aug. 11, 2009
Fairfield, CT - The Sacred Heart men's cross country team was picked second in the Northeast Conference preseason poll, released Tuesday by the conference office. Quinnipiac was named the league favorite.
After placing third in each of the past two years - a rank that marks the program's best finish at a league championship - Sacred Heart and 16-year head coach Christian Morrison stand poised to contend for its first-ever NEC crown. Although the Pioneers lost 2008 runner-up and two-time all-NEC honoree John Kenworthy, an experienced squad remains. Returning are a pair of top-25 finishers, including Brendan Rickert (Danbury, CT) and Andrew Houghtalen (West Charlton, NY). Rickert is back for his senior season since narrowly missing all-conference distinction in 2008 after earning 15th place (27:26.8), while Houghtalen, a junior, took 25th (27:57). Additional top returnees include senior Ryan Murdoch (Salem, CT), who recently competed in the 47th Annual Ocean Beach/John J. Kelley Road Race placing second (1:03.52) in the 11.6 mile trek, along with sophomore Taylor Dressman (Brooklyn, NY). Last season, Dressman posted the fastest time by a freshman in school history by crossing the tape in Holmdel Park in 28:15.
Mount St. Mary's took third place while Monmouth was slated fourth in the predicted order of finish. Saint Francis (PA) was fifth with Wagner sixth, respectively. Central Connecticut State notched seventh place, while Robert Morris captured eighth and Bryant took ninth. Completing the field of 12 were Long Island, Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis (NY).
The 2009 NEC Cross Country Championship will be held on October 31 at Quinnipiac University.