Skyhawks aiming for 14th-consecutive trip to NCAA DII Championships
HOPKINTON, N.H. (November 5, 2016) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked second in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II East regional poll will look to punch its 14th-straight ticket to the NCAA DII National Championship this Saturday, November 5 at the East Regionals in Hopkinton, New Hampshire.
Stonehill finished in second place at the Northeast-10 Championship two weekends ago on Skyhawk campus with a 74-point effort. The Skyhawks finished behind American International (27 points) who claimed the top spot in the East Region with the win. Four student-athletes earned a spot on the NE-10 All-Conference team for Stonehill, including, Lucas Taxter (Readville, Mass./Xaverian Brothers), Riley Dowd (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans Memorial), Michael Durkin (Hingham, Mass./Hingham), and Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Mass./Pentucket Regional).
On Saturday, Stonehill will look to its squad of seven on the line to get the job done. As a team, the men have posted six top-15 marks, including a top finish at the Skyhawk Preview Meet, second place at the NE-10 Championship, and third at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational.
Dowd has tallied two top-20 finishes, including 11th at the NE-10 Championship and 20th at the Skyhawk Preview meet. The sophomore picked up his first All-Conference accolade at the NE-10 Championship. He also finished 51st at last years East Regional with a time of 33:29 in the 10k race. Classmate Demeule also tallied his first-career NE-10 All-Conference nod after finishing 19th at the championship for his best mark of the season.
Durkin was the third Skyhawk to add his first NE-10 All-Conference nod to his list of accolades as he finished 14th at the championship. The freshman also tallied another 14th-place mark at the Skyhawk Preview Meet and 15th place at the UMass Dartmouth Invitation In the sub-varsity division.
Senior Joe Santo (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport) tallied a third-place mark at the Skyhawk Preview tallying a career-best time of 26:12 in the 8k. Santo finished 56th in last years East Regional with a time of 33:38, where he marked his best placement his sophomore year when he crossed the line 40th with a time of 32:52.
Senior Antonio Xelhua (Arlington, Mass./Arlington) has recorded two top-20 marks, finishing ninth at the Skyhawk Preview Meet and 16th in the college division at the National Catholic Championship. In last years' East Regional, Xelhua finished 18th for his first All-Region accolade with a time of 32:14 at the 10k race. Junior Jimmy Murphy (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) will appear in his first East Region Championship as he finished 34th at the Skyhawk Preview Meet and 24th at the NE-10 Championship.
With a top-three finish on Sunday, Stonehill would advance to its 13th consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship. The event will take place in Saint Leo, Florida hosted by Saint Leo University on Saturday, November 19.
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