WESTFIELD, Mass. - First-years Abby French (Nashua, N.H./Academy of Notre Dame) and Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) were both among the top 35 in fields of more than 430 runners as the Saint Michael's College men's and women's cross country teams competed at the 41-school James Earley Invitational on Saturday at Stanley Park.
In the Purple Knights' final tune-up before the Oct. 22 Northeast-10 Conference Championship, the women placed 19th with 507 points, trailing Colby College by one point, and the men were 21st at 555. The Saint Michael's men trailed Wentworth Institute of Technology by six for 20th place. The University of New England women won with 65 points, and the Brandeis University men topped the field at 68.
French finished 21st among 459 runners in the women's 6K with a PR of 23:14, clocking in as the fastest first-year in the meet. Senior Julia Snyder (Fairfax, Vt./BFA-Fairfax) was 136th in 25:13, sophomore Riley Mitiguy (Shelburne, Vt./Rice Memorial) nabbed 144th at 25:18, and junior Roxy Withers (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) placed 146th by crossing the finish line in 25:19. Each also reached personal bests. Sophomore Emily Kopacz (Windsor, Conn./Windsor) rounded out her team's top five by taking 151st in 25:22, edging out first-year Kate Hageman (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) by one second and one placement. The pair's times were PRs.
Jeter placed 32nd out of 432 harriers during the men's 8K, besting his squad for the third straight race. His time of 26:35 was not only a PR but was good for the fifth best among first-years at the meet. Senior Ross Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) took 64th at 27:13, classmate Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) occupied 128th in 28:11, and sophomore David Baird (Higganum, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) placed 177th in 28:48. Classmate Matthew Logue (Watertown, Conn./The Gunnery) was the Purple Knights' fifth scorer, notching a time of 29:51.
The Purple Knights compete next at the NE-10 Championship, hosted this year on the campus of Stonehill College, on Oct. 22. The men's race begins at 11 a.m. before the women follow an hour later.