CONTOOCOOK, N.H. - First-year Abby French (Nashua, N.H./Academy of Notre Dame) notched a top-10 finish for the second time in as many career races as the Saint Michael's College men's and women's cross country teams both took seventh place among 12 teams at the NCAA East Regional Championship Preview Meet on Saturday at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds. Teams return to the course for regionals on Nov. 5.
The Purple Knight women scored 160 points in a meet won by Merrimack College (66), which was ranked seventh in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) East Region poll. French was the seventh collegiate finisher during the 5K, at 19:37.0, while senior Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School) nabbed 23rd in a PR of 20:23.9. Junior Roxy Withers (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) placed 40th at 21:02.4, and first-years Marina Jerry (Burnt Hills, N.Y./Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) and Sam Rossi (Wilton, Conn./Fairfield Ludlowe) took 55th and 58th at 21:29.3 and 21:36.6, respectively. All three also set personal bests.
On the men's side, the Purple and Gold had 217 points, with Bentley University and Southern New Hampshire University leading the way with 70 points apiece. The Falcons are third in the regional rankings, while the Penmen stand seventh. First-year Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) notched a 26th-place showing to pace Saint Michael's at 27:29.5, an 8K PR, and senior Ross Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) placed 33rd in 27:47.9. Sophomore Matthew Logue (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) was 66th at 29:33.0, senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) finished 73rd in 29:40.3, and sophomore David Baird (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) took 81st in 29:57.8.
The Purple Knights host the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship on Sept. 30 for the first time since 2011. The women's race begins at 3:30 p.m. before the men's gun goes off at 4:15 p.m.