SMITHFIELD, R.I.-- Both UMass Dartmouth cross country teams shined in less than ideal conditions at the 2018 Little East Conference Cross Country Championships that were run in heavy rains and strong winds at Bryant University on Saturday afternoon.
The Corsair men’s squad narrowly missed out on claiming its first Little East crown in 22 years, as UMass Dartmouth placed a trio of runners in the top six to finish as the runner-up in the final team standings by five points (43-48) to champion Southern Maine. Senior Jason Karakaedos (Peabody, Mass.), sophomore Bruno Pires (New Bedford, Mass.) and freshman Carlos Rivera (Lowell, Mass.) earned all-conference honors by posting their respective fourth, fifth and sixth place individual performances in times of 27:18.8, 27:30.2 and 27:40.9, while freshman Steve Stromski (Melrose, Mass.) just missed out on all-league accolades with an 11th place time of 27:59 in a field of 76 competitors. Freshman Jose LeClerc-Rodriguez (Chelsea, Mass.) rounded out the Corsair scoring with a 22nd place time of 29:24.8 over the 8K layout.
Junior Jess O’Reilly (Millis, Mass.) continued her solid campaign on the women’s side for UMass Dartmouth, as she earned all-Little East honors with a fourth place individual finish over the 5K course in a time of 20:08.4. Sophomore Taylor Walsh (Groveland, Mass.) nearly earned all-league accolades with a 12th place time of 20:54.5 for the Corsairs, who posted 126 points to finish fifth in the final team standings. Junior Victoria Spitaels (West Newton, Mass.) was next in 31st place with a time of 21:57.8, while seniors Kirstie Harnden (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Christina Ruiz (Taunton, Mass.) rounded out UMass Dartmouth’s scoring with respective 47th and 49th place times of 23:23.4 and 23:39.8. Keene State edged out Eastern Connecticut (55-62) to capture its 18th Little East crown in the last 19 years and avenge last year’s triumph by the Warriors.
Both UMass Dartmouth squads will compete for their respective NCAA Division III New England Regional titles on Saturday, November 10th at Pickards Field in Brunswick, Maine, as this year’s event will be hosted by Bowdoin.
(Photo Courtesy Darryl Konicki, Little East Assistant Commissioner)