MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's cross country teams opened their seasons by returning to Saint Anselm College's Shacklette Invitational for the first time in 11 years on Saturday, with junior Chloe Boutelle's (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) runner-up showing leading the women to a second-place finish.
The Purple Knight women scored 69 points in an eight-team field, finishing ahead of four squads ranked regionally by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Stonehill College, which is 19th in the USTFCCCA's preseason national poll, scored 22 points to win the women's meet. On the men's side, the Purple and Gold finished sixth among eight institutions with 168 points. In a field whose top three teams were regionally ranked, Stonehill won the event with 30 points. The Skyhawks are receiving votes toward the national poll.
Boutelle's second-place showing in a field of 113 during the 5K women's race came thanks to a time of 19:07, as she was the top Saint Michael's finisher for the eighth straight meet. Junior Lindy Heffernan (Sutton Mills, N.H./Kearsarge Regional) claimed seventh place in 19:32, and classmate Colleen Gilliatt (Grantham, N.H./Lebanon) was 15th thanks to a time of 20:06. Junior Allie Gratton (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) trailed Gilliatt by four seconds to take 16th, and senior Daniela Czark (New York, N.Y./The Elan School) was the Purple Knights' fifth scorer, placing 30th.
Junior Peter McKenna (Cohasset, Mass./Brooks School) paced the Saint Michael's men with a 23rd-place showing in 28:36 during the 8K competition, and classmate Alex Gilgore (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville Senior) was next, nabbing 34th at 29:07. First-year Torin La Liberte (Madison, N.H./Kennett) crossed in 30:09 to place 45th, while junior Erik Hoiseth (Watertown, Mass./Watertown) was seven spots behind at 30:36. In his first race since 2011, senior Richard Kline (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) rounded out the Purple Knights' top five in 63rd place.
Both Purple Knight teams head to in-state meets next Saturday, with the men competing in the 12 p.m. Vermont Technical College Invitational. The women's race at Middlebury College's Aldrich Invitational starts at 1 p.m.