FOUR-IN-A-ROW: #12 Stonehill Takes Home NE-10 Championship

McBride, Bishop finish fifth and sixth, respectively, to lead Skyhawks

Stonehill, ranked no.12 nationally and first overall in the East Region, earned its 11th Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) title in program history. From L to R: Julia Berkowicz, Alexandra Piatelli, Michelle Fedor, Melissa Ulcena, Molly Hellman, Sarah Biggers, Emily Anderson, Chelsea Bishop, Kristen Veit, Caroline McBride, Brianna Venturo, Brittany Venturo, Emily Regan, Stephanie Wilson, Erin Rielly, Sarah Wilson, Erin Carmone and Elizabeth LaRegina.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (October 20, 2012) – The Stonehill College women's cross country team, ranked 12th overall in the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Division II national poll and first in the East Regional poll, captured its fourth-straight Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10) championship and eleventh in program history overall on Saturday afternoon at Jamesville Beach County Park on a muddy 5-kilometer course.

Stonehill scored 65 points to earn its fourth-straight conference championship with all seven of its runners finishing inside the top-25 of the race. Adelphi University tallied 80 points to finish as runners-up while Southern Connecticut State University ranked third (124). The College of Saint Rose was fourth (136) and American International College (AIC) finished fifth (156) to round out the top-five.

"I am really happy for my seniors. To think they have won a conference championship every year that they have been at the College is a tribute to their leadership and their work ethic," said NE-10 Men's and Women's Coach of the Year Karen Boen. "They respect the tradition of this team and the great athletes that have come before them. The reason winning is so important to us is to keep the tradition of Stonehill cross country strong and also highlight their individual efforts as well. There is accountability with this program and the alumnae/i as well."

AIC senior harrier Jeptui Cherutich (Springfield, Mass./Maji Mazuri Girls) garnered top individual honors crossing the finish line in 18 minutes and 23.2-seconds, nearly 16-seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

Stonehill senior tri-captain Caroline McBride (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) paced the Skyhawks with a fifth place finish overall in 18 minutes and 49 seconds. Junior tri-captain Chelsea Bishop (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) checked in quickly behind McBride in sixth place in 18:56.2. For their efforts, both McBride and Bishop were named to the NE-10 All-Conference First Team for the first time in their careers.

"We just take it for granted that they are always up top and in good position every race," said Boen of McBride and Bishop. "Every time we need them they get it going up front and spark our team. We can just rely on them to be so consistent and that is not easy in this sport."

Classmate Sarah Biggers (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y./Lakeland) ranked 16th overall in 19:25.5 and sophomore Emily Anderson (Manchester, Conn./Manchester) finished 18th overall with a time of 19:27.1 to claim NE-10 All-Conference Third Team accolades. Biggers collects her second career all-conference selection while Anderson picks up her first career award.

Sophomore Brianna Venturo (Taunton, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) rounded out the Skyhawks top-five on the afternoon with a 20th place finish in 19 minutes and 31.6-seconds. Venturo was named to the NE-10 All-Conference Third Team, her first career selection.

Senior tri-captain Kristen Veit (Easthampton, Mass./Holyoke Catholic) placed 22nd overall with a time of 19:35.2 and junior Emily Regan (Hanson, Mass./Whitman-Hanson Regional) ranked 23rd overall in 19:36.4.

"My top-seven has established itself this season," said Boen. "It is not easy to make our top-seven considering the depth we have on this team, so to consistently stay up in that position is a testament to their training and how they approach every practice and every race."

No. 12/1 Stonehill returns to action on Sunday, November 4 at the NCAA Division II East Regionals in Nashua, N.H. at Mines Falls Park. The Skyhawks will look to capture their fourth-straight regional title and 13th-straight trip to the NCAA Championships.

Northeast-10 Year End Awards

Women's Athlete of the Year - Jeptui Cherutich, American Int'l
Women's Rookie of the Year - Kerry Phelan, Merrimack
Women's Coach of the Year - Karen Boen, Stonehill

Northeast-10 Women's Cross Country First Team All-Conference
Jeptui Cherutich, American Int'l
Tara Dooley, Bentley
Courtney Dinnan, So. Connecticut
Chloe Boutelle, Saint Michael's
Caroline McBride, Stonehill
Chelsea Bishop, Stonehill
Betsy Eickelberg, Adelphi

Northeast-10 Women's Cross Country Second Team All-Conference
Alexandra Stasiuk, American Int'l
MJ Ohoueu, American Int'l
Kelly Walton, UMass Lowell
Kelsey Grimmer, Merrimack
Jennifer McNally, Adelphi
Titilayo Vanriel, So. Connecticut
Larissa Melendez, Adelphi

Northeast-10 Women's Cross Country Third Team All-Conference
Kerry Phelan, Merrimack
Sarah Biggers, Stonehill
Caitlin Fahey, Bentley
Emily Anderson, Stonehill
Jacqueline Kaste, Adelphi
Brianna Venturo, Stonehill
Emma Cohen, Saint Rose