Stonehill Picked Third In NE-10 Pre-Championship Coaches Poll

Senior Bryan Wilcox will be looking to post his third consecutive All-NE-10 finish on Sunday.

Skyhawks looking to secure fourth consecutive conference title

EASTON, Mass. (November 7, 2014) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, receiving votes in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II poll, and ranked third in the East Region, will look to capture its fourth consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Championship this Sunday on the campus of Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire.

Stonehill, which has won three straight NE-10 Championships dating back to 2011, was picked by the league's head coaches to finish third with 169 points behind favorites American International College (193 points, 11 first-place votes) and Franklin Pierce University (181 points, four first-place votes). Bentley University (160 points) and Adelphi University (141 points) rounded out the top five of the pre-championship coaches poll.

The Skyhawks will be looking for their fourth straight conference title and ninth overall on Sunday. Stonehill captured the NE-10 crown for the first time in 2002, before winning back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005. After sharing the championship with the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2007, the Skyhawks regained sole control with their victory in 2009. Stonehill is currently in the midst of its most successful stretch in program history, having won three consecutive championships beginning in 2011.

Stonehill boasts seven student-athletes that have competed in past NE-10 Championships, led by the experienced senior class of Bryan Wilcox (Plantsville, Connecticut/Southington), Paul Cina (Pembroke, Massachusetts/Pembroke), Dan Zawalich (Paxton, Massachusetts/St. John's), Dan Gordon (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) and Trent Fontanella (Pelham, New Hampshire/Bishop Guertin).

Senior Trent Fontanella earned All-NE-10 second team honors last fall after placing eighth in 25:49.

Wilcox is one of four Skyhawks with two championship races under his belt, as he competed each of the last two seasons, posting All-Conference second team efforts in both 2012 (8th overall in 25:50.8) and 2013 (14th in 26:03).

Fontanella narrowly missed All-NE-10 first team honors last season with his eighth-place finish in 25:49, and the fifth-year senior also collected third team accolades as a sophomore in 2011 after clocking in at 25:08.21, good for 17th overall.

Cina missed each of the last two NE-10 Championships with injuries, but posted a tenth-place finish at the 2011 meet, earning a second team nod with his time of 24:55.08. He also competed as a freshman in 2010, turning in a time of 26:17.1 for a 30th place finish.

Gordon is a two-time All-Conference performer, posting third team efforts in both 2012 (16th overall in 26:15.0) and 2011 (25:28.65). The Plymouth, Massachusetts native will be looking to register one final All-NE-10 performance after missing last year's meet with an injury.

Zawalich made his NE-10 Championship debut last season, earning a 23rd place finish after clocking in at 26:21. He has been Stonehill's top finisher in each of the three meets he has competed in this season, highlighted by his individual title (25:43.1) at the Division II/Division III Challenge on September 13th.

Also making their first NE-10 Championship appearances in 2013 were junior Rob Massey (Chelmsford, Massachusetts/Chelmsford) and sophomore Adam Rego (Rumford, Rhode Island/La Salle Academy). Massey earned All-NE-10 third team honors with his 15th place finish in 26:06, while Rego checked in at 26:29, good for 25th overall.

Following this Sunday's NE-10 Championship, the Skyhawks will be off for a week before attempting to win their second consecutive East Region Championship, and fourth overall on Saturday, November 22nd at Mine Falls Park in Nashua, New Hampshire.

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