Weekend College XC Recap: Big Results at NEICAAA and UW-Parkside
NEW ORLEANS – Though it was a relatively quiet weekend in college cross country – Divisions I and III have their biggest regular-season meets this weekend – there were still some impactful results on the national scene.
Dvisions II and III will be shaken up a bit from the New England (NEICAAA) Championships and the UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational, plus some other results from around the country.
Stay tuned later this week for coverage of Division I’s Wisconsin adidas Invitational & Pre-Nationals – reminder, no new Division I regional rankings or national polls this week – and Division III’s UW-Oshkosh AAE Invitational & UW-La Crosse Tori Neubauer Invitational.
We’ve got the top results of the weekend below, plus you can find a full list of the weekend’s action here.
New England (NEICAAA) Championships
Claiming the men’s NEICAAA team title in a tiebreak victory was the squad from Providence over Brown, while New Hampshire‘s women defended their title with a resounding win. Mike Biwott of American International claimed his third NEICAAA individual title in a row, while New Hampshire’s Elinor Purrier took the individual women’s race.
It was an extraordinarily close finish between Providence and Brown, with both scoring 72 points to force the tiebreak. The Friars’ Nos. 1 and 2 (Julian Oakley 2nd and Hugh Armstrong 6th) were better than Brown’s (Jordan Mann 3rd and Will Sheeran 9th), but Brown had the advantage head-to-head for runners No. 3 and 4. It came down to both teams’ No. 5 men as Christian Costello beat Mat Mahoney to the line by just over a second to clinch the win for Providence.
Biwott cruised to a 24-second win over Oakley in 24:10.8 for his second win in as many weekends.
New Hampshire’s title was far more comfortable, as the Wildcats put all five scorers in the top 25 – no other team had more than two top-25 finishers – to score 61 points to runner-up Middlebury‘s 162.
Middlebury, the No. 4 team in Division III, emerged victorious in its own way as the Panthers scored a narrow win over No. 2 MIT, 162-171. Both teams’ No. 1 runners – Alison Maxwell for Midd and Maryann Gong for MIT – crossed the line in 18:00.2 on the 5k course, with Maxwell awarded 11th place and Gong 12th.
The duo was far and away better than the next-best DIII team in the field, No. 9 Tufts all the way back in 16th with 388 points.
The script was much the same for the men’s race, though the frame of reference couldn’t be more different. The Middlebury men received not even a single vote in the latest National Coaches Poll, but it was ultimately the Panthers who narrowly prevailed over No. 11 MIT for eighth place as the top DIII team in the field, 291-298.
The Panthers were top-heavy with a pair of runners (seventh-place Wilder Schaaf and 15th-place Kevin Wood) crossing the line before MIT’s No. 1 (Spencer Wenck, 17th), but it was MIT with the advantage in depth. Midd’s No. 5 finished 115th, while MIT’s fifth was 86th and its No. 6 was 107th.
No. 30 Tufts was 18th, and No. 6 Colby – running without Purple Valley Classic champ David Chelimo – was 20th.
The Division II competition also yielded some interesting results on the men’s side, as recently unranked Franklin Pierce emerged as the top DII team in the field in 14th (354 points) over 16th-place No. 11 American International (392) and 28th-place No. 23 Stonehill (830).
UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational
In a battle of top-25 Division II women’s teams from the state of Michigan, it was No. 19 Northern Michigan that kept its hot streak going to win the women’s race with 58 points over No. 24 Saginaw Valley State (71) and No. 10 Wayne State (103). The Wildcats put all five scorers in the top 17, with fifth-place Kameron Burmeister and a pack of four women who crossed the line within 12 seconds of one another in 11th, 12th, 13th and 17th.
Saginaw Valley’s Emily Short took the 5k race title in 17:41.5 by 13 seconds over U. of Windsor runner-up Stefanie Smith.
On the Division III front, No. 29 Chicago looks to be running back to the form that saw it ranked in the top five earlier this season, as the Maroons took fourth-place in the 20-team field with 132 points. Former National Athlete of the Week Brianna Hickey led the way in seventh-place overall.
The top-ranked team in the men’s race, No. 16 UW-Parkside, finished as the top American college team with 67 points behind Windsor’s 44. The Rangers were led by a fifth-place finish from Evan Lewandowski. No. 25 Chicago of Division III was third with 96 points.
Michigan Tech’s Sean Pengelly was the top collegiate finisher, losing out to unattached Jacob Phillips by less than half a second in 25:00.3.
Top-10 Action Elsewhere Around the Country
Though several top-10 Division I programs were in action, their top squads were idle in anticipation of this upcoming weekend’s important races at Wisconsin and Pre-Nationals. Runners from No. 9 UCLA handily won a dual against Cal Poly Pomona and No. 9 Florida State‘s women hosted its own FSU Invitational while Colleen Quigley and it’s "A" squad rested.
For Division II…
the No. 4 women and No. 6 men of Western State both competed at home in its intrasquad W Mountain Race.
The No. 7 Alaska Anchorage men, meanwhile, notched an impressive victory at the Western Washington Invitational, scoring just 18 points en route to winning the 10k race – a rarity of a distance at this point in the season. The Seawolves swept the top three spots behind winner Dylan Anthony (31:02). Unranked Simon Fraser was third with 121 points, followed by No. 25 Western Washington in fourth with 128 points.
The women’s race at Western Washington saw No. 8 Simon Fraser finish runner-up to fellow Canadian school Trinity Western, 58-90, but ahead of unranked Alaska Anchorage with 107 points and well ahead of No. 23 Western Washington in eighth with 142 points. WWU’s Katelyn Steen was the top NCAA finisher in third-place on the 6k course in 21:20.
The No. 7 Augustana (S.D.) women ran several of their top runners in a runner-up finish to DI Creighton at the Briar Cliff Invite, 29-34. Cassidy Soli was runner-up overall for Augie.
At the Division III level…
The No. 1 North Central (Ill.) men, without its top runners, easily won the Benedictine (Ill.) Eagle Invite with 31 points to Aurora’s 80.
Running few of their top runners, the No. 4 Williams men finished runner-up at the Westfield State James Early Invitational with 93 points to Westfield’s 55 points. The Ephs’ Cole Townsend took the individual 8k win in 25:49.44. The No. 8 women of Williams took the win in their race, 59-120, over No. 26 Vassar. The Ephs’ duo of Emily Sundquist and Talia Calneck-Sugin swept the top two individual spots, with Sundquist completing the 6k course in 18:14.74.
The No. 5 UW-Platteville men won a dual against the Milwaukee School of Engineering – dubbed the Gender Equity Invitational – 21-38. Joel Walden covered the 8k course in 26:22.3 to lead a 1-2-3 UWP sweep in the men only-race (also a "Gender Equity" race).