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UMass men’s cross country concludes season with IC4A championships

Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian

(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts men’s cross country team ran its last race of the season at the IC4A championships Saturday afternoon, placing 12th out of 22 teams.

UMass sent eight runners to Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, New York to run the final 8k course of the season. Coach Ken O’Brien decided to keep several of his top-tier runners home in order to give some underclassmen a chance to step up and see what they could do. Ultimately, O’Brien was pleased with the team performance, but slightly disappointed with the individual results.

“My runners met expectations. Some of these athletes haven’t competed in almost a month, so you lose your competitive edge a little bit after a while.” O’Brien said. “They went through some good workouts to prepare themselves for this opportunity.

“These runners, however, have put up better performances, so it is a little disappointing that they couldn’t end their cross country season with a (personal record),” he added.

In previous years, the meet served as a qualifier for the NCAA championships and weighed much more heavily on the schedule. Now, however, the meet is comprised of teams that did not make it past the regional level of competition.

This year, the Minutemen finished right in the middle of the pack. Junior John Burns took 39th place for the Minutemen with a time of 26:54 and senior Morgan Marlow took 61st in his final race, running the course in 27:12.

Rounding out the top five scorers for UMass were three freshmen in Eric Waterman, Mike Famiglietti and Zach Frahlich, who all scored for the Minutemen with times of 27:34, 27:55.3 and 27:55.8, respectively.

Northeastern took the title with 77 points, while Rutgers took second at 114 points and Marist placed third at 121 points. Meanwhile, Chad Malloy of Canisius took the individual title running the course in 25:28.

The Minutemen who ran on Saturday were essentially trying out for next year’s varsity roster. UMass is graduating Ben Groleau and Ben Thomas, who represented the Minutemen’s No. 1 and No. 6 runners respectively this year.

Half of the runners on the cross country team will prepare to compete in indoor track running the 5k, the mile, and the 800-meter races. Some of the longer distance endurance athletes will wait until the spring track season to compete again in events like the 10k and the steeplechase.

The indoor season is slated to begin on Jan. 9 with a meet at Yale University.

Tyler Movsessian can be reached at tmovsessian@umass.edu

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