By Michaela Gates, Staff Writer
It proved to be an eventful Saturday for the men of UMass Dartmouth cross country as the team managed to finish first at the annual WNEU Invitational with a grand total of 61 points.
The men edged out 14 other teams for the victory. The women of Corsair cross country also had a great day as they garnered 128 total points and finished fifth out of eleven other teams.
While it is not expected, it is certainly welcome to see cross country first year Bruno Pires of New Bedford as the men’s team’s top finisher. While PIres could not secure a first place finish, he certainly gave it a hell of a try as he was right behind the leader for the entire race and was dangerously close to edging him out.
Coming in behind Pires was junior Jason Karakaedos who had a time of 26:41 while Pires had a time of 26:28.
Travis Doicine also ran a fantastic race for the Corsairs as the sophomore Brockton native managed to come in eighth with a personal best time of 27:52.
It cannot be said enough how utterly impressive it is to see a colligate team place three runners in the top-10 of an invitational and have almost the entire team aside from two running finish within the top-25.
It is worth noting that the worst finisher they had finished at 28th and while this may not be as glamorous as second overall, that is still a highly competitive place to finish.
Given that next weekend is the Little East Conference Championship for both the men’s and women’s teams, it has to feel phenomenal for the men’s team to have a team victory heading into it. Running is a mental game for many and confidence is certainly something that can propel a runner to be at their best.
The women of UMass Dartmouth found their own success this weekend as they managed to finish within the top-5 as a team for the invitational. Taylor Walsh ran a solid 26:55 race for the women’s team and captured 10th place overall. Victoria Spitaels had a great race as well finishing with a time of 27:05 and a 12th place finish. Coming in at 28th was Hannah Landry with a time of 29:01.
The Corsairs had three of their runner’s finish within the top-30 of the race and another three finish within the top 40. Given that the women’s race consisted of 100 girls these numbers are hardly anything to scoff at. It was a highly competitive field and the 5th place finish for the team was certainly an achievement.
Again, the women are headed for the LEC Championships this week up in Maine and while they did not capture a championship this weekend as their male counterparts did, they certainly had a fantastic day on the course.
It will certainly not be an easy win this upcoming weekend for either team, however both teams seem to be putting themselves in great position to capture an LEC banner and move onto regionals.