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Men’s cross country wins America East championship
November 4, 2014Tweet
For the second time in six years, the Binghamton men’s cross country team has won the America East cross country championship. With four runners in the top 11 and five in the top 21, the Bearcats won the nine-team meet, which was held Nov. 1 at the University of Maine. In the women’s meet, Binghamton placed eighth.
Binghamton has now won a pair of America East men’s titles during its 14 years in the conference. The Bearcats were also the runner up in both 2010 and 2013. All of those performances came under current head coach Annette Acuff, who was named the conference’s Men’s Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the meet.
The Bearcats needed a complete team effort to score a meet-best 59 points. UMass Lowell was the runner up with 62 points. Defending champion UMBC, who edged out Binghamton for the title last year, was third with 85 points.
“I am really happy for our team and our university,” Acuff said. “Our guys went out today and really executed the race plan we talked about heading into today. They ran tough and smart and deserve the win.”
Senior Matt Johnson led the squad with an eighth-place finish. He covered the 8,000-meter course in a time of 25:19.14. Fellow senior Jesse Garn was ninth (25:19.91), junior Ethan Hausamann was 10th (25:21.51) and sophomore Eric Holt was 11th (25:21.77). Senior Andrew Roache sealed the win with a 21st-place finish (25:41).
All-conference honors went to the top 10 finishers in the race. For Johnson, Garn and Hausamann, it marks the first time each of them have been all-conference in cross country.
At the start of the race, a group of five runners separated themselves from the field. The Bearcats, however, had their top four runners hovering in the chase group close behind. During the rest of the race, Binghamton slowly moved up toward the front of the race. Roache passed three runners in the final 1,000 meters.
The men’s individual champion was Erik Speakman of Stony Brook (24:41)., who also won in 2012.
On the women’s side, junior Alexis Hatcher finished a team-best 25th place overall. Her time for the 5,000-meter course was 18:52. Freshman Allison Davis was 32nd (19:08).
By placing five runners in the top 10, New Hampshire repeated as the women’s team champions with just 26 points. Elinor Purrier led the way with a first-place time of 17:19. Stony Brook finished a distant second with 63 points.
Up next for Binghamton is the NCAA Northeast Regional Meet on Nov. 14 at van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.