MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's cross country teams opened their 2015 seasons at Saint Anselm College's Shacklette Invitational on Saturday, with the men placing seventh among eight schools and the women taking eighth.
With 196 points, the men were 18 shy of Assumption College for sixth place, while the Purple Knight women compiled 198 points. Nationally-ranked Stonehill College claimed the men's title, with 38 points, while the University of New England, which is regionally ranked in Division III, topped the women's field at 56.
Junior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) led the Saint Michael's men by taking 41st in 28:44, trimming 1:20 off of his time from last year's event. Rookies occupied the Purple and Gold's next three scoring spots, with first-year Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) 44th in 28:50, junior Ross Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) taking 46th with a time of 28:57, and first-year David Baird (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) crossing the line one second later to nab 47th. Junior Cody Putnam (Alburgh, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) was 66th to round out the Purple Knights' top five.
On the women's side, newcomers occupied four of the Purple and Gold's highest five positions. First-year Emily Calder (Hopkinton, N.H./Hopkinton) debuted with a 32nd-place showing at 20:44, and junior Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School) was 35th in 20:48. First-year Emily Kopacz (Windsor, Conn./Windsor) turned in an identical rounded time to claim 37th, sophomore Roxy Withers (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) placed 62nd in her initial college race, and first-year Ellen Emers (East Hardwick, Vt./Hazen Union) took 68th.
The Purple Knight men return to action next Saturday at the Vermont Technical College Invitational at 12 p.m., while the women break until the Sept. 19 Aldrich Invitational at Middlebury College. That meet also begins at 12 p.m.