Scrolling Headlines:

Preseason serves as opportunity for young UMass men’s soccer players -

August 13, 2017

Amherst Fire Department website adds user friendly components and live audio feed -

August 11, 2017

UMass takes the cake for best campus dining -

August 11, 2017

Two UMass students overcome obstacles to win full-ride scholarships -

August 2, 2017

The guilt of saying ‘guilty’ -

August 2, 2017

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass heads to Saint Louis for A-10 Championships

The conditions for this weekend’s Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championships seem to be far from ideal. As the Massachusetts men’s and women’s cross country teams head west to Saint Louis, Miss. to compete for the conference crown, it will unfortunately meet tough conditions.

“It will be very interesting, but I think we’re ready to go,” said UMass coach Julie Lafreniere.

Although it is expected to be a sunny Saturday morning, the cold front that currently hovers over the Midwest will bring significant downpours and thunderstorms, which will accumulate to anywhere from two to four inches by Friday night.

The implications for the meet are that the course is very likely to be saturated, potentially thick and muddy. Lafreniere said cross country runners “run in any type of conditions” but will make sure her team has spiked cleats.

Coach O’Brien has credited his team’s success all season to their experience, and has stated in the past that his team has dealt with all types of conditions before. The Minutemen can also look to last year if they want to be reminded what a championship performance looks like.

The men’s cross country team captured its first conference title since 1995 last season with an impressive performance and one that helped O’Brien earn A-10 Coach of the Year last season. This year, the team is looking to defend its title but will receive stiff competition from Duquesne, a strong program that it narrowly defeated by one point in last year’s race.

Three of the Minutemen’s top performers return to this year’s race as seniors competing in their last cross country conference championship. Jonathan Pierce had a strong performance in last year’s race in which he finished ninth overall. Nicolai Naranjo and Andrew Mulvaney took 16th and 18th place respectively last year.

The women hope to take one more step in closing the gap between them and other A-10 powerhouses.  Richmond took home their second A-10 title ever in the women’s meet. After finishing seventh overall last year, Lafreniere hopes her team can build off its recent success and capture its first top five finish in the conference championships since 2004.

“We seem to be gelling at the right time. Claire is feeling better than she did at Albany, and Zan looks to be back where she left off last cross country season,” she said.

Freshman Courtney Baldwin has lead the Minutewomen in their last two races, and junior co-captain Shiyi Zan has also finished second in consecutive races. The team has received top three team finishes by juniors Lauren Stocker and Gina Purno, as well as from sophomores Claire Petit and Karen Roa this season. Lafreniere stated that she is looking for contributions from everyone.

The meets will kick off on Saturday morning for both the men and the women cross country teams.

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

Leave A Comment