Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball shooting woes continue as the Minutemen fall 65-62 to UCF -

December 3, 2016

Despite poor shooting performance, UMass men’s basketball shows improvement on defensive end -

December 3, 2016

Notebook: Ty Flowers shines in UMass men’s basketball’s loss to UCF Saturday -

December 3, 2016

Ray Pigozzi shines in first game back for the UMass hockey team since November 4 -

December 2, 2016

UMass starts hot, finishes strong in upset win over No. 12 Notre Dame -

December 2, 2016

SGA vice president will resign at the end of the semester -

December 2, 2016

Raise the Flag protestors praise -

December 2, 2016

Dining and Housekeeping employees at Smith College seek new contract -

December 1, 2016

In response to election, immigration lawyer briefs students on potential changes -

December 1, 2016

Avinoam Patt discusses the role of displaced Jews in the creation of Israel -

December 1, 2016

UMass women’s basketball falls to Hartford, snaps three-game winning streak -

December 1, 2016

Brison Gresham makes long awaited debut for UMass men’s basketball -

December 1, 2016

UMass hockey hosts No. 12 Notre Dame in Hockey East doubleheader -

December 1, 2016

UMass men’s basketball picks up fourth straight win as it tops Wagner Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

December 1, 2016

UMass hockey gets chance to bond during trip to Belfast -

December 1, 2016

The true backbone of America -

December 1, 2016

Letter: Craig’s Place to fight against fatal budget cuts -

December 1, 2016

Enduring the 2016 Tower Run at Du Bois Library -

December 1, 2016

C.J. Anderson, Malik Hines each have career nights in UMass men’s basketball’s win over Wagner -

November 30, 2016

Panelists talk about their experiences with incarceration in the Feinberg Lecture Series -

November 30, 2016

Men finish first, women last, in lone home cross-country meet

On a sunny Saturday morning, which Massachusetts men’s cross-country coach Ken O’ Brien described as “perfect for our sport,” the University of Massachusetts men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in their only home meet of the season.

In front of a spirited crowd, UMass used a total team effort to capture its first victory of the season. The win is just another in an impressive streak as it marks the fourth consecutive year the Minutemen have pleased their home crowd with a victory.

The coach was pleased as well.

“It was the way I thought our team would compete,” O’Brien said. “Each team that was there had a good piece of success. I thought the talent showed.”

The five-way race included cross-town rival Amherst College with Vermont, UConn and Maine.

From the outset, the race was highly competitive, featuring eight NCAA Division I and III qualifiers. Four runners placed in the top eight overall for the Minutemen.

Junior David Johnson led the way, turning in his best run of the young season and placing third overall with a time of 25 minutes, 38 seconds.  In a span of 13 seconds, three other UMass runners crossed the finish line. Juniors Sean Duncan and Kevin Johnson finished with identical times of 25 minutes 50 seconds, which earned them fifth and sixth place, respectively. One second later, senior Nicolai Naranjo completed the quartet of top-ten runners with a time of 25 minutes, 51 seconds.

Several others made key contributions including senior Andrew McCann and sophomore Scott VanderMolen who finished17th and 21st respectively.

Not only were the weather conditions ideal on Saturday, but as coach O’Brien noted the atmosphere was also great. Featuring two local schools and three other northeastern schools, there was a strong fan base for all teams involved.

“We had a tremendous crowd .That really sparked the kids before the race and during the race,” he said. “We designed the course so that the teams are brought back in front of the crowds, so spectators can see the race and be involved. And, I thought the energy from the crowd really translated onto the course.”

The Minutewomen also held their annual home meet on Saturday and placed fifth overall. They received stiff competition from Boston College, Maine, Vermont and Five College rival Amherst College. The Eagles won the meet with a score of 32 points.

Minutewoman head coach Julie LaFreniere believes her team could have performed much better if not for a slow start.

“I thought our athletes got off the line a little too slowly, and they let the race slip out of their hands in the first half and never could really catch up and run right where we belong,” she said.

Sophomore Claire Petit led the Minutewomen, finishing with a time of 18 minutes and 28 seconds in the 5k, good for 16th overall. Fellow sophomore Karen Roa finished 18th overall with a time of 18 minutes and 37 seconds. Coach LaFreneire was disappointed in her team’s performance on Saturday and hopes the team can make an adjustment to garner more rewarding results in the near future.

“Our team – they are real good, hard trainers. They have to take what they do in practice and bring it to the meet. So we will be working hard,” she said.

Both teams have a long layoff until their next meet, which does not take place until Friday, Oct. 2.

Jeffrey Engmann can be reached at jengmann@student.umass.edu.

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