Bison men's team finishes 8th at NEAC championship, Alex Close earns 2nd team all-conference honors
HUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa. – The Gallaudet University men’s cross country team finished eighth overall at the 2012 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championships Saturday hosted by Penn St.-Abington at Lorimer Park. GU accumulated 196 team points to finish eighth out of 10 official teams, who had five runners finish the race. There were 11 total programs represented in the race.
Gallaudet showed improvement from last year’s 10th place effort when the Bison tallied 255 team points in their first appearance in the conference championships.
The Fighting Tigers from SUNY Cobleskill took home their fourth NEAC championship in five years with 52 team points – a mere two points better than Morrisville State College. SUNYIT finished third with 70 points followed by Penn St.-Berks (112 team points), Wells College (156), Penn St.-Abington (164), Penn St.-Harrisburg (169), Gallaudet, Keuka College (216) and Lancaster Bible College (251). Cazenovia College didn’t have enough runners finish to earn a team placement.
Penn St.-Abington freshman Alex Kane won the 8K race in 29 minutes, five seconds as he swept the NEAC Runner and Rookie of the Year honors. Kane’s coach, Jose Rodriguez, was named the NEAC Coach of the Year.
Gallaudet was paced by freshmen Alex Close (Tallahassee, Fla.) who finished in 13th place with a time of 30 minutes, 41 seconds which earned him all-conference second team honors. Freshman Ivan Alfaro (Yakima, Wash.) just missed all-conference as he finished 22nd overall with a time of 31 minutes and 36 seconds. The top 21 runners earn all-conference recognition (seven per team). In fact, Alfaro finished with the exact same official time as Cobleskill junior Zack Dockstader, the last runner to earn all-conference honors on the third team as he officially finished 21st overall.
“Alex and Ivan both raced well today,” said Gallaudet head coach Mikaela Hudson. “They were both mentally and physically prepared for the course and competition,”
Junior Chris Davis (Stillwater, Okla.) finished in 41st place with a time of 33 minutes, 49 seconds – an improvement of 2:08 from his performance in last year’s championship race. The final four Bison to cross the finish line were sophomore Kelvin Lunn (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 80th place at 40:58, freshman James Glenn (Wichita, Kan.) in 81st place at 41:31, freshman Neal Matthews (Kent Island, Md.) in 87th place at 44:20 and junior Evan Saltz (Coconut Creek, Fla.) in 89th place at 46:03. There were 91 runners that finished the NEAC championship race.
“I look forward to improvements all around on both the men’s and women’s teams for next season,” said Hudson.
This was the last team meet for the Bison this season as several runners have the potential to compete in a postseason race in November.