The University of Rhode Island men’s and women’s cross country teams both finished in 12th place out of 14 teams in this past weekend’s Atlantic 10 Championships at Richmond University’s Green Pole Park in Mechanicsville, Virginia.
In the women’s cross country events, the hometown Richmond Spiders won the overall title by a hair scoring 88, followed by Duquesne University (88) and La Salle University (111). La Salle’s Morgan Szekely won her second straight individual title finishing the five-mile race in a time of 17:09.4.
The top finish for Rhode Island was freshman Shelby Aarden who cracked the top 20 when she finished the afternoon in 17th place timing in at 17:55.7. Â Fellow freshman Nichole Barger finished 60th with a time of 18:43.9, sophomore Alyssa Brehler finished 67th clocking in at 18:49.6, and senior Paige Ethier finished 71st crossing the line at 18:52.1.
For the men’s race, St. Joseph’s University won the title with a final score of 77 followed up by the University of Massachusetts (98) and Davidson College (103). The individual title was earned by George Mason University’s Steven Flynn who finished the five mile race in 24:21.1.
“I am not happy with where our team placed in the meet, but it shows how highly competitive our conference is,” John Copeland, head coach of men’s cross country/track and field, said. “So many dominant programs I wish we did better but all we can do now is learn and grow from it.”
Although the team did not have their best performance for the final meet of the cross country season, two Rhode Island runners finished in the top 100 overall. Sophomore Alec Font led Rhode Island with an 86th place finish with a time of 26:36.4. Junior Alexander McGrainer followed in 90th timing in at 26:41.3.
“I was happy to have two of our guys place in the top 100 in Font and McGrainer. Font has been good for us and McGrainer did well but is usually geared towards track and field events,” Copeland said.
The women’s track and field team is set to compete in the NCAA Northeast Regional at Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts next Friday at 7 p.m. Copeland decided against having his athletes compete in the Northeast Regional so they can better prepare for the track and field season to begin.
“We didn’t have a great season with our overall finishes but I’m happy with certain strides we made,” Copeland said. “We’re looking forward to another successful year for our track and field team starting in December. Where we stand now that is what we are preparing for.” Â