NCAA EAST REGIONALS: #15 Stonehill Finishes Third Overall, Earns Trip To NCAA Championships

Skyhawks punch ticket to tenth-straight NCAA Championships 

Senior Sean Hanlon was the top finisher for the Skyhawks placing tenth overall on the afternoon.

NASHUA, N.H. (November 4, 2012) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked 15th overall in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Division II national poll and first in the East Regional poll, guaranteed itself a tenth-straight trip to the NCAA Division II Championships with a third place finish overall at the NCAA East Regionals on Sunday afternoon at Mine Falls Park. 

American International College ranked first overall with 48 points, Bentley University placed second overall with 64 points and Stonehill clinched its tenth-straight trip to the NCAA Championships with 84 points. All three teams advance on to the NCAA Championships on Saturday, November 17 in Joplin, Missouri hosted by Missouri Southern State University. 

"The fact that we get disappointed when we don't win but know that we are still going to the National Championships just shows you how lofty our goals are," said Stonehill College men's cross country head coach Karen Boen

Senior Sean Hanlon (Georgetown, Mass./St. John's Prep) led the Skyhawks with a tenth place finish in a personal best time of 30:55.7 on the 10-kilometer course. Hanlon broke his previous mark of 32:23 set at the 2010 NCAA East Regionals on November 21 at Franklin Park in Dorchester, Mass. 

"Sean has been the most consistent guy on the squad this year," said Boen. "For Sean not to run cross country his freshman year and continue to progress from that point on until now just shows how much of a gamer he is. Sean runs for his team, there is no question about it, and that showed today." 

Hanlon's tenth place performance also landed him on the All-East Region team, his first-career honor at the College. 

Junior Paul Cina (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) ranked 16th overall in 31:08.8, sophomore Daniel Gordon (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) checked in at 31:09.6 for 17th overall, senior Ethan Penney (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill) finished 20th overall with a time of 31:12.0 and sophomore Daniel Zawalich (Paxton, Mass./St. John's) was 21st overall in 31:13.3 to round out the Skyhawks top-five. 

All four runners earned All-East Region accolades for placing inside the top-25 out of 188 competitors. Cina and Gordon collected All-East Region honors for the second time in their careers while Penney and Zawalich picked up All-East Region medals for the first time in their respective careers. 

"Every race we have run this year has had a different guy in the number one spot. We are going on team depth alone with the guys," said Boen. "Some of these teams have more experience than us but this group of guys will do whatever we ask and they always compete as hard as they can. I am very, very proud of the team as a whole and incredibly proud of our sophomore class which has stepped up this year." 

Boen continued discussing her sophomore class.

 "I am always impressed when you have guys on your team that only two years ago were running 5,000 meters and it took everything out of them," said Boen. "Now, we are asking them to run double that amount and they have all stepped up to the occasion and have competed very well this year. It is a lot to ask of these sophomores to run their first 10k in cross country against this great field and accomplish what we did. It just is not an easy thing to do." 

Sophomore Bryan Wilcox (Plantsville, Conn./Southington) finished 29th overall with a time of 31:40.8 and senior Tim Johnson (Thomaston, Conn./Thomaston) placed 33rd overall in 31:47.7 to round out the top-seven. 

The Stonehill College men's team will be joined by the women's squad at the NCAA Division II National Championships on Saturday, November 17. The Skyhawks women's program captured their fourth-straight NCAA East Regional title and 13th-straight trip to the NCAA championships scoring 67 points this afternoon.

NCAA East Regional Highlights