Cross country has strong showing in Rothenberg Race

By Cody Prudhomme

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Despite resting its top runners this weekend, the Massachusetts’s men’s cross country team finished second overall in the annual Rothenberg Race held by Brown University.

The Minutemen had a strong showing of youth in the race, with junior Jared Reddy, sophomore Richard Racz and freshman Benjamin Groleau finishing fourth, fifth and sixth overall, respectively.

Reddy led the way for UMass, finishing with a time of 25 minutes, 49 seconds over the five-mile, rain-soaked course. Both Racz and Groleau also ran a strong race, both finishing within 10 seconds of Reddy.

The strong performance of the young runners was the highlight of the race for UMass coach Ken O’Brien.

“The performance of some of (the) freshmen runners was a real nice breakthrough,” O’Brien said. “We spend all season trying to build up their endurance from where it was to high school, and this past weekend was a great indicator of their hard work and our success.”

The top overall finisher was Dartmouth freshman Anthony Anzivino, who led the field of runners with a time of 25:37. Anzivino’s strong race led the Big Green to a third place finish behind only Brown and UMass.

The team’s top three runners — John O’Shea, Patrick McGowan and Antony Taylor — were all held out of the race for rest.

O’Brien said he wanted to make sure the trio were ready to go on Saturday when the Minutemen travel to Philadelphia for the Atlantic 10 Championship race.

“As the season wears on it takes a toll on the runners, and we wanted to make sure everyone on the team had a chance to rest and recover from some illnesses that have been going around so everyone is ready to go for our big meet in Philadelphia,” O’Brien said.

Women’s XC finishes fourth out of five

Meanwhile, the UMass women’s team also competed in the Rothenberg Race, finishing fourth out of five teams.

Freshman runner Carly Zinner finished 12th overall in the 3.1 mile race with a time of 18:53, which was good for first,on the Minutewomen. Not far behind her were teammates Rachel Hilliard and Sarah Barrett, who finished in 19:12 and 19:20, respectively.

Rounding out the top five runners for UMass were sophomore Katie Powers and senior Danielle McNiff.

Boston College finished on top at the meet. The Eagles were led by senior Elizabeth Hynes, who finished well ahead of the competition with a time of 18:12.

Dartmouth and Brown rounded out the top three, while Rhode Island took the fifth and final spot.

UMass coach Julie LaFreniere made the decision to rest many of the teams’ top runners, who are recovering from various injuries and fatigue in preparation for the A-10 conference championship race, which will take place alongside the men’s race.

Cody Prudhomme can be reached at [email protected]