BOSTON – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth cross country teams opened the 2014 season with a pair of third place performances at the Emmanuel Fens Cross Country Opener this afternoon.
Each of the five UMass Dartmouth runners that scored finished inside the top-30 to account for 96 points. Brandeis University cruised to the team title with just 23 points followed by Roger Williams (45). Hawks' freshman Tim McGowan won the individual title, covering the three-mile course in 15 minutes, 20 seconds.
Junior Ryan Hayes (Kingston, Mass. / Silver Lake) led the Corsair contingent with a 16th place time of 16 minutes, 10 seconds. Freshman Ben Braz (Peabody, Mass.) made an immediate impact in his collegiate debut, finishing right on Hayes' heels with a time of 16 minutes, 12 seconds.
Senior Eric Karstunen (Pembroke, Mass.) edged sophomore Sean Herlihy (Walpole, Mass.) by two seconds for the 22nd position. Junior Matthew Ferro (Halifax, Mass. / Silver Lake) also scored for UMass Dartmouth, when he completed the course in a time of 16 minutes, 46 seconds to place 29th.
The women's cross country team compiled a total of 71 points to finish three markers behind Roger Williams University. Wheaton (Mass.) captured the team title with 53 points, while Husson's Chrissy Larrabee was the first runner to cross the finish line (11:51).
Senior Katie Sheehan (Scituate, Mass.) led the Corsairs and placed third overall, covering the two-mile course in a time of 12 minutes. Classmate Jessica Connor (Worcester, Mass. / Doherty Memorial) was just nine seconds off Sheehan's pace, finishing fifth in the 99-person field.
Senior Brittany Atkinson (Peabody, Mass.), sophomore Reme DiGiovanni (Southborough, Mass. / Algonquin Regional), and classmate Mary Leach (Peabody, Mass. / Peabody Veterans) were separated by just four seconds as they came across the finish line. Atkinson led the grouping with a time of 12 minutes, 55 seconds, while DiGiovanni and Leach posted times of 12:58 and 13:02, respectively.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at noon on Saturday, Sept. 6, when the Corsairs compete at the Roger Williams Invitational in Bristol, R.I.