LEOMINSTER, Mass. -- Both UMass Dartmouth cross country teams opened their respective 2019 seasons with impressive performances at the Fitchburg State Jim Sheehan Memorial Invitational on Saturday afternoon, as the Corsair men successfully defended their title in the event while the Corsair women posted a fifth place finish that included topping defending Little East champion Keene State in the final standings.
Freshman Imanuel Fernandes (Brockton, Mass.) made his collegiate debut a memorable one on the men’s side for UMass Dartmouth, as he finished third in a field of 107 competitors with a time of 26:14 over the 8K layout. Junior Bruno Pires (New Bedford, Mass.) and sophomore Steve Stromski (Melrose, Mass.) followed with respective fifth and seventh place times of 26:32 and 26:48 for the Corsairs, who received an 11th place time of 27:19 from freshman Austin Carroll (Norton, Mass.) in his first college race. Senior Mike Tierney (Norton, Mass.) closed out UMass Dartmouth’s scoring with by finishing 20th individually in a time of 28:15, as the Corsairs bested runner-up Bridgewater State by 35 points (42-77) in the final standings. The Bears topped the University of New England by a point for third place overall.
Junior Taylor Walsh (Groveland, Mass.) chopped a full 1:13 off her time from last year on the 5K Doyle Conservation Area course, as she set the pace on the women’s side for UMass Dartmouth with an eighth place time of 19:40 in a field of 126 runners. Senior Jess O’Reilly (Millis, Mass.) was next in 15th place with a time of 20:00 even, while sophomore Jackie Broderick (Wilmington, Mass.) and junior Stephanie Brogdon (Chelmsford, Mass.) followed with times of 21:35 and 21:41. Senior Victoria Spitaels (West Newton, Mass.) rounded out the Corsair scoring with a 58th place time of 22:05, as Mount Holyoke took top honors with a score of 34 points to top runner-up University of New England (76) and third place Bridgewater State (84). UMass Dartmouth, which was edge in fourth place by Division II Bentley, bested rival Keene State by four points for fifth place.
Both UMass Dartmouth squads resume action in two weeks on Saturday, September 21st when the Corsairs host the UMass Dartmouth Invitational on the Bob Dowd Course. The men’s race begins at 11:15 am and will be followed by the women’s race at Noon.