Preview: Men’s Cross Country to Compete in 17th NCAA Championship

Skyhawks aim to top its 21st-place finish from last year (PHOTO BY: Dianne Kay Photography)

2019 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships Homepage

Taxter is aiming for his fourth-career All-America award, second cross country accolade (PHOTO BY: Patty Morgan)

EASTON, Massachusetts (November 21, 2019) – The Stonehill College men's cross country team, ranked No. 3  in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association East Regional Rankings, will compete in its 17th-straight NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships this Saturday at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, California, hosted by California State, Sacramento and the Sacramento Sports Commission. The women's six-kilometer race will kick off the day at 1:00 p.m. EST, while the men's 10-kilometer race will begin at 2:15 p.m. EST.

Tickets for the event can be purchased day of event for $10 a car for cash only. For those that will not be making the trip to California, NCAA cross country fans can watch the live streams of the Championships on FloTrack as they will be providing pay-per-view live coverage of the meet.

The Skyhawks finished third at the NCAA Division II East Regional Championship two weekends ago with a total of 82 points at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The title went to Roberts Wesleyan College who totaled 55 points and American International College also earned a bid into the Championship with their runner-up finish with 65 points. Senior All-American Lucas Taxter led the way for the Skyhawks as he repeated his runner up performance from last year to earn his third All-East Region honor.

To qualify for regionals, Stonehill finished second at the NE10 Championship this season with 79 points and the Yellow Jackets took home the title with 39 points. This was the Skyhawks' fifth second-place finish in six years and ninth total in program history. Taxter once again led the way for the Purple and White with his runner-up finish for the second-straight time and earned his fourth cross country All-Conference recognition.

McNamee is one of three Skyhawks that will be running in their second NCAA Championship (PHOTO BY: Patty Morgan)

In California, Taxter will aim for his fourth-career All-America performance and second cross country accolade. He earned his first last year after finishing 19th out of 261 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This will be his third appearance at the Championship.

Sophomore Nickolas McNamee will be competing in his second NCAA Championship as he finished eighth at the East Regional for his second All-East Region accolade. Juniors Kevin Wheelock and Jeff Pichie will also be running in their second NCAA Championship. Wheelock earned his second All-East Region honor after placing 17th, while Pichie earned his first recognition last year.

Three Skyhawks will toe the line at the NCAA Championships for the first time in their career, including sophomore Shane Braz, and freshmen Reilly Johnston and Colin Black. Braz earned his first career NE10 All-Conference honor, finishing 16th, and then followed that up with a 24th-place finish at the East Regional for his first All-East Region honor. Johnston was named NE10 Rookie of the Year with a ninth-place finish and Black placed 28th overall, as they both were also on the line at the East Regional Championship.

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