No. 21 Men's Cross Country Opens Season With Win at Shacklette Invitational

Junior Antonio Xelhua paced Stonehill today with his fifth-place finish in 26:56.

Junior Antonio Xelhua leads four Skyhawks in top-ten with fifth-place finish

MANCHESTER, N.H. (September 5, 2015) – Led by four top-10 individual efforts, the Stonehill College men's cross country team opened its 2015 season by cruising to a first-place finish this morning at the Shacklette Invitational on the campus of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Stonehill, ranked No. 21 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Division II Poll, placed seven of its ten entries inside the top-14 en route to a score of 38. Fellow Northeast-10 Conference members Southern New Hampshire University (56 points), American International College (66) and Merrimack College (72) finished in second, third, and fourth, respectively, while the University of New England rounded out the top-five in the eight team field.

Stonehill was led by junior Antonio Xelhua (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington), who finished fifth overall out of 93 entries with a time of 26:56 on the eight-kilometer course. Freshmen Riley Dowd (Peabody, Massachusetts/Peabody Veterans Memorial) and John Onken (Holbrook, New York/Sachem North), who were among six Skyhawks competing collegiately for the first time today, were right behind Xelhua in sixth (27:04) and seventh (27:06), respectively.

Classmate Lawrence Carney (Lowell, Massachusetts/Lowell) followed two spots and just one second later in ninth place (27:07), rounding out Stonehill's four top-ten performers.

Junior Adam Rego (Rumford, Rhode Island/La Salle Academy) finished 11th and posted a time of 27:10, while sophomore Alex Southiere (Cumberland, Rhode Island/Cumberland) and freshman Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Massachusetts/Pentucket Regional) placed 13th (27:15) and 14th (27:19) respectively.  

Also competing for Stonehill was freshman Christopher Drace (Franklin, New Jersey/Pope John XXIII), and sophomores Jimmy Murphy (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Mansfield) and Kenny Vinacco (Scituate, Rhode Island/Scituate). Drace and Murphy crossed the finish line two seconds apart in 18th (27:26) and 19th (27:28) place, and Vinacco followed with a time of 27:33, good for 23rd overall.

Stonehill will be off next weekend before returning to action on September 19th at the Kutztown Division II/Division III Challenge, hosted by Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

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