Men’s Cross Country NCAA Division II National Championship Preview

Skyhawks coming off a runner-up finish at East Region Championship

EASTON, Mass. (November 18, 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 compete in its 14th-consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship. This Saturday, November 19 in Saint Leo, Florida, hosted by Saint Leo University.

Previously, Stonehill finished in second place at the NCAA Division II East Regional and Northeast-10 Championship. At regionals, Stonehill recorded 80 points, 31 points behind champion American International College, who tallied 49 points. Five runners recorded All-East Region honors including Riley Dowd (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans Memorial), Alexander Demeule (Merrimac, Mass./Merrimac), Joe Santo (Newburyport, Mass./Newburyport), Michael Durkin (Hingham, Mass./Hingham), and Jimmy Murphy (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield). The Skyhawks finished behind American International (27 points) who claimed the top spot in the East Region with the win at the NE-10 Championship. Four student-athletes earned a spot on the NE-10 All-Conference team for Stonehill, including, Lucas Taxter (Readville, Mass./Xaverian Brothers), Dowd, Durkin, and Demeule.

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 seven top-15 marks, including a top finish at the Skyhawk Preview Meet, second place at the NE-10 Championship and NCAA East Regional, and third at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational.

Dowd has tallied three top-20 finishes, including 10th at the East Regional, 11th at the NE-10 Championship and 20th at the Skyhawk Preview meet. The sophomore picked up his first All-Region and All-Conference accolade this season. Classmate Demeule also tallied his first-career All-Region and NE-10 All-Conference nod after finishing 15th at the East Regional and 19th at the conference championship.

Durkin was the third Skyhawk to add his first All-Region and NE-10 All-Conference nod to his list of accolades as he finished 14th at the conference championship and 19th at the East Regional. 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.

Junior Murphy has recorded two top-25 marks this season, including a 20th-place finish at the East Regional Championship, for his first-career All-Region honor. Murphy will be running in his first NCAA Championship.

Senior Santo tallied a third-place mark at the Skyhawk Preview tallying a career-best time of 26:12 in the 8k. He also finished 23rd at the East Regional Championship this year, for his second All-Region nod. Santo has run in the last two NCAA Championships.

Senior Daniel Nolan (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) will be appearing in his first NCAA Championship, as he has tallied two top-30 results. Nolan first finished 18th at the Skyhawk Preview meet and then 26th at the National Catholic Championship in the college division.

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. Xelhua also tallied a 34th-place mark at the East Regional this year, and will be running in his second NCAA Championship. Junior Murphy will appear in his first East Region Championship as he finished 34th at the Skyhawk Preview Meet and 24th at the NE-10 Championship.

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