The University of Rhode Island men’s and women’s cross country teams finished in 13th and eighth out of 14 teams, respectively, at the Atlantic 10 Championship at Duquesne University this past weekend.
Graduate student James Bloom was the top finisher for the men’s team, placing 43rd with a final time of 25 minutes and 48.9 seconds. Bloom was followed closely by freshman Alec Font who finished 59th with a time of 26:09.2.
Sophomore Jacob Magiera and junior Kevin Lochard finished in the top 100 for the Rams, placing 89th and 93rd respectively.
“It wasn’t our strongest meet, but we ran hard and I’m really proud of the effort I saw from the team,” Rhode Island men’s cross country head coach John Copeland said. “James [Bloom] and Alec [Font] both worked hard for us in this meet, and we are now looking ahead to Regionals.”
The women’s squad’s eight-place finish is an improvement of three spots from last year’s meet. Leading the Rams was sophomore Alexa Pelletier, who placed second with a final time of 17:41.6.
Pelletier’s time will earn her a spot on the A-10 all-conference team awarded to the top 15 finishers at the meet. She becomes the 25th All-Conference team member in Rhode Island cross country history. Her second place finished ties the best individual finish in program history.
“Alexa [Pelletier] didn’t run last year as a freshman, so this is a huge accomplishment for her,” Rhode Island women’s cross country head coach Laurie Feit-Melnick said. “Placing in all-conference is a really hard thing to do and we are all really proud. She ran great and had a huge day.”
Two Rams after Pelletier also finished in the top 50. Freshman Alyssa Brehler finished 25th with a time of 18:35.2 and fellow frosh Jacki Burr placed 47th with a time of 19:07.5. Senior Lauren Columbare, sophomore Courtney Hawkins, senior Nicolette Pelrine and junior Lanie Jowett all finished in the top 100 for the Rams.
“From last year we did really well, saw a lot of improvement,” Feit-Melnick said. “We knew going into the meet that we could place in the middle, and we worked hard to get there. We are a very young team, so it is a huge accomplishment to have so many girls place well. Alyssa [Brehler] is one of our top freshman, so for her to place second was great for the team and for her personally.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams are now looking ahead to the NCAA Regionals, which will take place on Friday, Nov. 14.