BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott men's and women's cross country teams will compete in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championships this Saturday at 1 PM and 12 PM, respectively, at Rotary Park in Biddeford, Maine. Here's a preview of the CCC Championships for both teams.
MEN'S PREVIEW (8K): Wentworth took the top spot in last year's race capturing its second straight CCC Men's Cross Country title.
The Leopards have had a successful fall earning team wins at the UNE Invitational and the Emmanuel Saints Invitational. They return much of their championship core from a year ago with four of their top five scorers coming back. Senior Alex Robbins (Mansfield, Mass.) has been the top runner for Wentworth this year leading the Leopards in four of their five races. He finished in the top two overall in every race this year including wins at the Paul Short Run and the Emmanuel Saints Invitational. Patrick Hopkins (Lansdale, Pa.) has also been a bright spot for the reigning champions with a win at the Wellesley Invitational and top-five finishes in two others. Junior Josh Gangemi (Norton, Mass.) and sophomore Tom Caruso (Mahopac, N.Y.) have been consistently in Wentworth's top five. Last year's Championship runner-up Dan McSolla (Bridgewater, Mass.), who was an All-Conference honoree along with Robbins and Hopkins, has also raced this year.
Last year's CCC Championship runner-up, Endicott, will also be in a good spot heading into this year's race as it returns four of its top-five runners from a year ago. Senior Zach Marshall (Hinesburg, Vt.), Endicott's top CCC finisher in 2016, has led the Gulls in every race this year and following close behind has been junior Patrick Finocchiaro (Salem, N.H.). Both Marshall and Finocchiaro garnered All-Conference recognition as top ten finishers last year. Also returning are second-year runners Adam Germaine (Guilford, Conn.) and Will Connelly (Barrington, R.I.). Connelly was named Rookie of the Year last season.
Roger Williams is looking to return to the podium having won the 14 CCC Men's Cross Country Championships before Wentworth ended its reign two years ago. As a team this year they have placed third at the Roger Williams and Emmanuel Saints Invitationals. Newcomer Tyler Marchioni (Franklin, Mass.) has been one of the Hawks' top runners. He has finished in the top-25 twice and has been the first RWU finisher in three of its five races. Nicholas Malone (Rutland, Mass.) was the top finisher in the other two races.
The University of New England, this year's Championship host, will be looking to improve on their fourth place finish. As a team they have three top-three finishes including a team victory at the Pop Crowell Invitational. One runner the Nor'easters will rely on is captain Matthew Toussaint (Wallagrass, Maine). Toussaint was an All-CCC performer last year as he placed sixth in the championship race. Junior Ben Wright (Wells, Maine) and four-time CCC Rookie of the Week Donovan Duffy(North Waterboro, Maine) will also contribute.
The fifth place finisher last year, Western New England, had four runners finish in the top-25 at the 2016 Championship. Their top competitor, senior Adrian Barber(Castleton, N.Y.) will try to improve on last year's 14th-place result. His fellow senior Edwin Kaczenski (Northfield, Mass.) has led the Golden Bears in four of their six races. His best finish was a sixth-place showing at the Elms Blazer Invitational, which WNE placed third in as a team.
Two-time reigning CCC Runner of the Year Damon Kilgore (Londonderry, N.H.) is back for Gordon. Kilgore has won three races this year and will look to make it four on Saturday. Senior Jesse Edwards (Antrim, N.H.) is also back for another try at the CCC Championship. He finished 28th in 2016.
Leading the way for Salve Regina is senior Scott Brewer (Wilbraham, Mass.). He has been the first Seahawk to cross the finish line in every race and is looking to improve on his 50th place finish in the 2016 Championship. Trying to push him will be freshman teammate Aidan Lynch (Little Silver, N.J.). Salve will be looking to add another title to their 2017 slate after winning the Elms Blazer Invitational and the Tri-State Invitational.
Sophomore Joseph Santese (Danielson, Conn.) has been Nichols's top runner in all seven races this season. Santese will try to improve on his 38-place finish last year. Santese has three top-10 finishes including an individual win at the Tri-State Inviational. First-year Christopher Kimball (Pepperell, Mass.) has been the Bison's No. 2 all season.
Kevin Rop (Silver Spring, Md.) and Stephen Ingersoll (Newark, N.J.) are the two runners to watch for Eastern Nazarene. They have paced the Lions through the regular season.
WOMEN'S PREVIEW (6K): The University of New England will serve as the host of this year's event with the Nor'easters seeking their sixth straight CCC crown.
At last year's meet, UNE posted a perfect score of 15 as the first five runners to cross the finish line all ran for the reigning champions. The Nor'easters have placed in the top three in all six races they have run this year including first-place finishes at the UMaine Farmington, UNE, and Pop Crowell Invitationals. They return two of those top-five scorers from 2016 in reigning CCC Runner of the Year Emma Robidoux (Fairhaven Mass.) and All-CCC performer Angel Waters (Limerick, Maine). All-CCC honoree Amanda MacDonald (Wrentham, Mass.), who finished seventh in the 2016 Championship is also back. Junior Andrea O'Hearn (Gorham, N.H.), Cat Moss (Conifer, Colo.), and Rachael Suhie (Manchester, Conn.) have also been key contributors.
Salve Regina was the runner-up at last year's Championship race and returns four of its five scorers. Alex Demeo (Burlington, Mass.), who has been the Seahawks' top runner this year, finished fifteenth last year and will look to improve on her time on Saturday. Cianna Lynch (Cranston, R.I.), Alexa Cipkas (Granby, Conn.), and Olivia Wilson (Bethel, Conn.) are also back. Sophomore Olivia Owen (Weymouth, Mass.), who didn't factor into the scoring for Salve last year, has been a top runner this year. The Seahawks have won two meets as a team with victories at the Elms Blazer Invitational and the Tri-State Invitational.
All-CCC runner sophomore Sarah Mawdsley (Sandy Hook, Conn.) will be back for Roger Williams as the Hawks try to improve on their third place finish from a year ago. She has been Roger Williams' top runer in four of their five races. Senior captain Makayla D'Urso (Londonderry, N.H.) is also back. She was the Hawks' seventh finisher last year, but has been a top three runner this year.
Endicott has gotten a strong performance this year from freshman Emma Farrington (Essex Junction, Vt.). Farrington is a five-time CCC Rookie of the Week and has been a top finisher for the Gulls. Abigail Keim (Williston, Vt.) and Laura Pomeroy (Windham, N.H.), who finished 12th and 22nd, respectively, in the 2016 Championship also return for Endicott.
Western New England returns one All-Conference performer in Meagan Dias (Ludlow, Mass.). The junior placed eighth last year and has been the Golden Bears top runner in all but one meet. She had top-10 finishes at the Elms Blazer Invitational (7th) and the WNE Invitational (4th). Senior Kathleen Siveira (Plainfield, Conn.) and newcomer Greer Hanley (Woodbury, Conn.) have also been contributors.
Gordon has made great strides this season placing in the top two in for of its five races. Leading the way in many of those races is senior Kayla Kroning (Ringwood, N.J.) who has finished in the top five on three occasions. Freshman Elizabeth Mailhot (Bedford, N.H.) has also been a welcome addition to the team. Senior Louisa Dodds (Hillsdale, N.Y.), who finished as the Fighting Scots number two in the Championship last year, has also been a consistent runner for Gordon in 2017.
Curry features a very young team this year with only four seniors and only three runners who competed in last year's Championship race. This year's leader has been sophomore Tatyana Almore (Belchertown, Mass.) with senior Caitlyn De Serres (Barre, Vt.) and freshman Karlee Walkowiak (Whitingham, Vt.) following behind.
Eastern Nazarene will lean on sophomore Karen Diaz (Gaithersburg, Md.) and freshman Makayla Grantham (Appalachian, N.Y.) as they try to improve on their finish from last year.
The small squad from Nichols will be led by freshman Clare Eckel.
The CCC Championship is the final tune up for cross country teams before the NCAA Division III New England Regional which takes place at Gorham Country Club in Gorham, Maine on Saturday, Nov. 11. The meet will be hosted by Southern Maine with the men's race going off at 11 a.m. with the women's race to follow at 12:15 p.m.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and four associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.
(Photo credit - Conner Grant '18)
(Information in this release courtesy of the CCC)