COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's and men's cross country teams were picked 11th and 12th, respectively, in the Northeast-10 Conference's pre-championship poll, which was released by the league office on Thursday and chosen by the member institutions' head coaches. This year's NE-10 Championship will be hosted by Stonehill College on Saturday, with the men starting at 11 a.m., and the women starting at 12 p.m.
The women, under 11th-year head coach Molly Peters, received 54 points to edge out Franklin Pierce University, which placed 12th with 48 points. Stonehill, ranked 13th in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national poll, claimed the top position with 196 points. Saint Michael's placed 15th at last year's NE-10 Championship.
The Purple Knights head into the weekend having competed in four meets on the season. The team won the season-opening Shacklette Invitational, hosted by Saint Anselm College, and third on Sept. 30 at the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship, which was held at Saint Michael's. First-year Abby French (Nashua, N.H./Academy of Notre Dame) has paced the Purple Knights in each meet this season, finishing in the top 10 in three out of four races, with her highest finish being second at the Shacklette Invitational. Senior Molly Roush (Rouses Point, N.Y./Northeastern Clinton Central School) finished in the top 25 in the first three meets before sitting out the James Earley Invitational due to injury. Junior Roxy Withers (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) has been among her team's top three on three occasions.
The men, under 16th-year head coach Joe Connelly '87, received 65 points to finish four short of 11th-place Southern Connecticut State University. No. 19 American International College claimed the top spot with 193 points. Saint Michael's finished 10th in last year's NE-10 Championship.
The Purple and Gold men placed second in the Shacklette Invitational and third in the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship for their top team placements this fall. Senior Ross Henry (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) finished second overall and first for the Purple Knights at the Shacklette Invitational, while first-year Kevin Jeter (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) has paced the squad in each of the last three meets. Senior Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) has been among the top four Purple Knight finishers in each meet.