The University of Rhode Island men’s cross country team finished in fourth place of eight teams at the season-opening Bryant Invitational in Smithfield, Rhode Island, on Saturday.

After a strong preseason, the Rams started off the year with three runners finishing in the top 20 during the 5k race. Jacob Magiera led Rhode Island with a 14th-place finish, coming in at a time of 16:19.6.

Alec Font and captain Thomas Fownes finished with times of 16:24.6 and 16:26.8, earning them the 15th and 17th spots.

Copeland spoke highly of returning player Mageria, after his dedication to training over the past year and commended junior Fownes on his election as captain for the season.

“The team is made-up of mostly returning guys,” Rhode Island head coach John Copeland said. “The group had a great preseason, and trained a lot over the summer. I was very pleased with this start. Mageria will be strong for us this year and had a great start to his sophomore season.”

The Rams also had solid performances from Kevin Lochard who finished in 30th with 16:50.1, and Joseph Zanfagna, whose 17:15.5 time earned him 42nd place.  Adam Thies followed with a total of 17:33.4.

The Rams will have the weekend off as they prepare for the Boston College Invitational. The meet will bring together some of the toughest competition for the Rhode Island. Last year the squad struggled in the meet and are hoping to see better results.

“Like last year the Boson Invitational will be a very tough meet with a lot of talent,” Copeland said. “But we are very excited about the make-up of the team. It is a small but very close group of guys this year.”

The BC Invitational will take place on Friday, Sept. 16, when the Rams travel to Franklin Park in Boston. The event is set to start at 3:30 p.m.