MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College women's cross country team won the four-team Shacklette Invitational at Saint Anselm College on Sunday to open its season, the men took second, and both squads claimed the runner-up harriers in their races. The Purple Knight women totaled 35 points to outdistance the runner-up host Hawks (45) and Bentley University (46), while the men netted 42 while trailing only Bentley (24) in the four-squad field.
During the women's 5K, Saint Michael's accounted for half of the top eight, as first-year Abby French (Nashua, N.H./Academy of Notre Dame) debuted with a second-place performance of 19:33, just three seconds shy of the winner. Senior Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School) was fifth in 21:05, junior Roxy Withers (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) placed seventh with a personal record of 21:22, and sophomore Emily Kopacz (Windsor, Conn./Windsor) was four seconds back in eighth.
The next three Purple Knights were all within one second of another, as sophomore Ellen Emers (East Hardwick, Vt./Hazen Union) nabbed 13th in a PR of 21:46 while first-years Marina Jerry (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) and Sam Rossi (Wilton, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) both clocked in with times of 21:47. Rossi finished in 14th place, edging out the 15th-place Jerry. In her first race since 2014 after studying abroad last fall, senior Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) was 16th, sophomore Riley Mitiguy (Shelburne, Vt./Rice Memorial) captured 17th in her college debut, and first-year Kate Hageman (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) took 20th to round out the top-20 Purple Knights.
Senior Ross Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) paced the Saint Michael's men by placing second on the 8K course in 27:42. First-year Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) was fifth at 28:32, and senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) took eighth in 28:59. Sophomore David Baird (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) finished 14th at 29:45, virtually tying the 13th-place runner, and sophomore Liam Schmelzle (Saint Louis Park, Minn./Saint Louis Park) took 15th in 30:10. Classmate Matthew Logue (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) nabbed 17th as the sixth Purple Knight in the top 20.
The Purple Knights are in action next on Sept. 17 at the NCAA East Regional Championship Preview Meet at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds in Contoocook, N.H. The women's race starts at 10 a.m., and the men begin an hour later.