SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The eight Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's cross country teams travel to Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I. on Saturday, Nov. 2 for the 2019 CCC Men's Cross Country Championship. The eight-kilometer race will begin at 11:15 a.m. following the women's race.
The University of New England comes in as the defending champion and returns three of its four All-CCC performers from last year's meet. Leading the way for the Nor'easters is Jake Hickey (Winthrop, Maine) who was last year's individual champion and the CCC Runner and Rookie of the Year. This year, he was UNE's top finisher in each of the four races that he ran, all top-five finishes. He was the individual winner at both the Jim Sheehan Memorial Invitational the Western New England Invitational. The Nor'easters other returning All-Conference runners, sophomore Anthony Chase (Gorham, Maine) and junior Donovan Duffy (North Waterboro, Maine) have also been solid performers. Chase won the Pop Crowell Invitational, which the Nor'easters also won as a team. First-year Jeff Waters (Limington, Maine) has also be a consistent scorer and has won three CCC Rookie of the Week awards.
Roger Williams, this year's host, finished second at last year's championship. This season the Hawks have competed in five races, including a win at the Fens Classic hosted by Emmanuel. They too returned three of their four All-CCC runners in Connor Hayden (Cumberland, R.I.), Tyler Marchioni (Franklin, Mass.), and Jake Rocheleau (West Hartford, Conn.). Junior Colin Herschlag (Easton, Mass.) has also been a consistent scorer for the Hawks.
Last year's third place finisher, Wentworth, is bringing back All-CCC performer Tyler Cosma (Center Moriches, N.Y). However, it has been mostly newcomer Patrick Heavey (Mansfield, Mass.) finishing first for the Leopards. Heavey was his team's top finisher in three of its five races. Juniors Will Allen (West Hartford, Conn.) and Wes Brimeyer (Dubuque, Iowa) have also had strong finishes for the Leopards.
All three of Nichols' All-Conference performers are back after helping the Bison to a fourth place finish at last year's event. 2018 bronze medalist Joseph Santese (Danielson, Conn.) returns this year as does Christopher Kimball (Pepperell, Mass.) and Kevin Radavich (East Hampton, Conn.). This group helped the Bison pick up one win this season at the Endicott Invitational.
Endicott has picked up two team victories this year at the Battle of the North Shore and the York College Invitational. In both of those races, Adam Germaine (Guilford, Conn.) set the pace for the Gulls. Following close behind has been senior Jack McGuire (Hopkinton, Mass.).
Gordon's top runner all year has been first-year Evan Page (Bennington, Vt.). This year he has earned one CCC Runner of the Week honor and been named CCC Rookie of the Week three times. He will be looking to help the Fighting Scots climb up the standings after a sixth place finish last year. Sebastian Toro (Queens, N.Y.) has also been a top performer for Gordon.
Salve Regina will also be looking to improve on its 2018 finish. The Seahawks will turn to junior Aidan Lynch (Little Silver, N.J.) and senior Brett Jutras (East Bridgewater, Mass.) to lead them.
Sophomore Anthony Spooner (Wester Bridgewater, Mass.) and freshman Nick Rosselli (Assonet, Mass.) have led the way for Western New England and will try to continue that trend on Saturday.
The CCC Championship is one of the final tune ups for cross country teams before the NCAA Division III New England Regional race which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 16. The Regional will be hosted by Bowdoin College at Pickard Fields in Brunswick, Maine.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and two associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports. In 2020, the conference will expand to 10 full members and 19 championship sports with the addition of Suffolk University and women's ice hockey, respectively.