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Women’s cross country places second, men’s places fourth in Minuteman Invitational

(Daily Collegian Archive)

The Massachusetts men’s and women’s cross country teams opened their season at the Minuteman Invitational in Amherst on September 9. Heather MacLean and Colleen Sands had the top two finishes overall, which lead the University of Massachusetts to a second-place finish. Samuel Conway and Erik Engstrom secured top 20 finishes for the Minutemen, who finished fourth out of seven teams.

MacLean ran a blistering 17 minutes, 21.9 seconds on the five-kilometer course on Saturday, registering a 29-second lead on the next runner, Sands, who came across the line at 17:50.7.

Despite the performances by MacLean and Sands, Connecticut won the women’s meet by scoring 25 points.

UMass’ third runner, freshman Colette O’Leary, also found her way into the top 10, completing the course in 18:17.

Fourth across the line was junior Brook Hansel, who hung tough with a pack of Vermont runners, finishing in 18:25.6. With Hansel finishing 15th, she was ahead of a string of Catamounts who took 17th through 20th place.

The performance by Hansel locked up the Minutewomen’s second-place position with 49 points, while Vermont took third with 86 points. Junior Serena Sarage closed out the scoring for UMass with a time of 18:39.1, good for 21st place overall.

Men finish fourth out of seven

UConn’s men’s team matched the women with a first place victory. The Minutemen ended up placing fourth in their only home meet.

Conway just missed the top 10, finishing the course in 19:33.7. Engstrom also finished in the top 20 with a performance of 19:43, good for 18th.

Sophomores Jackson Southard (19:54.1), Dawson Bathgate (19:55.8) and Michael McDonald (19:59.1) rounded off UMass’ scoring. The final three runners for UMass proved to be critical, however, as Maine was just one point behind the Minutemen. UMass scored 110 points for fourth while Maine took fifth with 111.

Overall, it was Huskies junior Patrick Begley who secured the overall title with a time of 18:56.6 for the six-kilometer course. Begley was able to fight off two strong performances by Boston University’s sophomore Paul Luevano (19:09.2) and junior Alexander Seal (19:11.8).

This allowed the Huskies to run away with the meet with just 25 points. Boston University was second with 53, and Vermont also podiumed in this race with a third-place, 95-point finish.

The next meet for the cross-country teams will feature teams from all over the east coast. Last season, teams from as far as Arkansas came to Franklin Park in Boston to compete. That race on Friday, September 22, will begin with the women at 3 p.m. and the men will run soon after at 3:30 p.m.

Tyler Movsessian can be reached at

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