By Sebastian Moronta Blanco, Staff Writer
This past Saturday, the Corsairs traveled to Westfield, Massachusetts to compete in the twenty-first annual Earley Invitational at Stanley Park.
The invitational was hosted by Westfield State, and saw the Corsairs joined by 44 collegiate programs with over 900 athletes competing in total.
The course took runners through the beautiful Wildlife Refuge area of the park, winding through the woods along dirt roads and woodchip trails. The start and finish lines of the course were planted on the flat, grassy sections of the park giving spectators a pleasant view of the runners, leaving the athletes to deal with the hilly wooded trails of the inner park.
The men’s team performed well, with every athlete finishing within just three minutes of the winner of the race, Gordon’s Damon Kilgore of Londonberry New Hampshire, who finished with a time of 25:10. Senior Corsair Michael Vaz of Dartmouth, Mass snagged the number seven spot among four hundred thirty-two runners, making this his third top ten finish of the season so far. Vaz finished with a time of 25:46 as the first LEC conference runner to cross the line.
Two more Corsairs on the men’s team managed to slide into the top 50, sophomore Jason Karakaedoes of Peabody Mass and Senior Sean Herlihy of Walpole Mass. Karakaedoes made his 2016 debut at Stanley Park, sitting out the first few races of the year but crossing the line placing 47th with a final time of 26:56.
He was closely followed by Herlihy, finishing 49th just two seconds later with a final time of 26:58.
The men’s team sent six more athletes to the invitational.Dominic Roy finishing 113th at 28:00, Robert Hanlon 127th at 28:09, Cory Jordan 141st at 28:21, Timothy Post 152nd at 28:30, Michael Tierney 154th at 28:31 and finally Tyree Gorham finished 167th at 28:40.
The women’s team had just one athlete in the top 50, junior corsair Reme DiGiovanni of Southborough, Mass finishing in just 23:26 and placing 31st overall.
Nine more Corsairs followed her with Victoria Spitaels placing 67th in 24:12, Jessica O’Reilly 98th at 24:39, Kirsten Harnden 168th at 25:35, Hannah Laughlin 196th at 25:50, Christina Ruiz 312th at 27:31, Jennifer Miranda 318th at 27:38, Rachel Frazier 337th at 27:56, Heather Shanks 385th at 29:10, and finally Meaghan Shanks placed 437th finishing in 32 minutes and 40 seconds.
The women’s race saw 459 athletes taking the course, and each of the Corsairs finished within just 11 minutes of the race’s leader. Westfield State’s own Jess Cardin of Sutton Mass took the invitational with a time of 21:26.
The Corsairs have another invitational this coming Saturday in New London Connecticut.
The Connecticut College Invitational will be held at Harkness State Park and will see the corsairs joined by 20 other collegiate programs.
The following Saturday will prove to be the Corsairs most important race yet, as the collegiate programs in the conference collect for the Little East Conference Championship on the 29.
Their final meet will be the NCAA New England Regional Championships on November 12.