WASHINGTON - Gallaudet University hosted its first North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men's and women's cross country championships Saturday at Kenilworth Park as 171 runners from 14 different teams competed on a cold, blustery and overcast day. SUNY Cobleskill's women's team won its sixth consecutive NEAC title while SUNY Polytechnic Institute's men's team won a second straight championship.
Gallaudet's men's team placed sixth overall as it compiled 181 team points. The women's team finished ninth as it totaled 219 points.
Penn St.-Abington junior Alex Kane ran away with the men's 8K race as he finished in 27 minutes, 18.8 seconds, just six seconds off his course record time of 27:12.23 that he set back at the Bison Invitational on Sept. 13. Kane was named the 2014 NEAC Men's Runner of the Year. SUNY Polytechnic Institute freshman Greg Bogdan was honored as the 2014 NEAC Men's Rookie of the Year while Bogdan's coach Bill Tylutki took home 2014 NEAC Men's Coach of the Year honors, as determined by his coaching peers.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute won the men's team championship with 36 points as it had five runners place in the top 17 spots including sweeping second, third and fourth place. SUNY Cobleskill (83 points) had three runners in the top 15 spots to take second place. Penn St.-Abington and Morrisville State College tied for third place with 86 points but the Nittany Lions won a 3-2 tiebreaker. Penn St.-Berks (148) finished fifth followed by Gallaudet, Keuka College (200), Cazenovia College (211), Penn College (226), Wells College (246) and Lancaster Bible College (252). Bryn Athyn College did not have enough runners compete in the championship to qualify in the team standings.
Leading the way in the NEAC championship for the Bison was sophomore Alex Close (Tallahassee, Fla.) who hung with the lead packs throughout the race. Down the home stretch Close held off several runners to finish eighth overall as he crossed the finish line in 28:37.6. Close just missed making the all-conference first team, awarded to the top seven finishers, but he earned All-NEAC second team honors.
Close wasn't the only Bison to earn all-conference honors as freshman Dylan Rich (Brockton, Mass.) placed 18th (29:22.7) to place him on the All-NEAC third team. Senior Gabriel Carino (Bronx, N.Y.) placed 51st (33:26.0) and freshman Joshua Branscomb (Memphis, Tenn.) was 57th (34:02.0). Freshman runner John Isaacson (Clive, Iowa) was the fifth Bison runner to earn team points as he finished 60th overall (34:28.0). Freshmen James Weichel (Bradenton, Fla.) and Andy Lobaugh (Pauls Valley, Okla.) finished 63rd (35:05.9) and 81st (43:36.7), respectively, out of 83 runners.
On the women's side, it was sophomore Shelby McIntyre from Cazenovia College that won the women's 6K race as she finished with a new course record of 22 minutes, 28 seconds. McIntyre took home 2014 NEAC Women's Runner of the Year honors. SUNY Cobleskill freshman AnnaClaire Piersiak was named 2014 NEAC Women's Rookie of the Year and her coach Mitch Tomaszkiewicz was picked by his coaching peers for the 2014 NEAC Women's Coach of the Year.
The Fighting Tigers compiled 46 team points as all five of their team scoring runners finished in the top 20. Cazenovia (75 points) took second place followed by Penn St.-Abington (81), Keuka (92), Morrisville State (119), Wells (132), Penn St.-Berks (181), Lancaster Bible (213), Gallaudet (219), Penn College (281) and SUNY Polytechnic Institute (319). The College of Saint Elizabeth, Wilson College and Bryn Athyn College did not have enough runners compete in the championship to qualify in the team standings.
Crossing the finish line first for the Bison women's cross country team was junior Lindsey Corthell (Orlando, Fla.) who placed 19th overall (24:51.1) as she earned All-NEAC third team honors.
Senior Rachel Young (Leesburg, Va.) finished 37th (27:13.8) followed by freshman Ivy Sahneyah (Tempe, Ariz.) in 55th place (28:26.7). Freshman Jamila Hubbard (Montezuma, Ga.) and freshman LaQuita Carroll (Spanish Fort, Ala.) completed the Bison team scoring as Hubbard finished 60th (29:21.5) and Carroll was 70th (31:34.3). Senior Kevlasha Humphrey(Jacksonville, Ill.) was the last Bison runner to finish as she placed 80th (34:18.3) out of 88 runners.
This was the last team meet for the Bison this year. The NCAA Division III Mideast Regional will take place on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pa., hosted by Dickinson College.