FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WINTHROP, Mass. – The Great Northeast Athletic Conference has released its 2019-20 championship dates schedule for the upcoming academic year, as announced by GNAC Commissioner Joe Walsh. With the additions of men's and women's indoor track & field, the league has increased its sport offerings from 20 to 22 sponsored championships.
This fall, the 2019 GNAC Men's Golf Championship will open up the event season for the conference, as Saint Joseph's College of Maine will host the two-day, 36-hole event at the Biddeford-Saco Country Club on Saturday-Sunday, October 12-13. Johnson & Wales University has won each of the last two GNAC team titles and NCAA Tournament automatic qualifiers.
The following weekend on Oct. 19-20, the GNAC Women's Tennis Semifinals and Final will again take place at the Winchester Indoor Tennis Center, a neutral-site final-four where the four remaining teams will participate at the same facility. After JWU captured the 2016 and 2017 GNAC Championships, Colby-Sawyer College won last year's title in the Chargers' first year as a GNAC core member. The top-two seeds will earn a bye into the semifinals, with the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds hosting first-round matches on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Two weeks later on Saturday, November 2, the 2019 GNAC Cross Country Championships will take place on campus at host Saint Joseph's of Maine for the second straight year. A year ago, Colby-Sawyer and Emmanuel College won the men's and women's team titles, respectively, while the women's race will shift from a 5K to a 6K this year.
The GNAC Fall Tournaments will culminate on Saturday, November 9, with the field hockey, men's soccer, women's soccer and women's volleyball championships taking place at the highest remaining seeds. All four GNAC champions will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
The winter will mark the first-ever time that the GNAC Swimming & Diving Championships will shift away from longtime host Simmons University. The 2020 GNAC event will take place at the Wellesley Sports Center in Wellesley, Mass. on Friday-Saturday-Sunday, January 31 & February 1-2. A Boston Sports Institute facility, the multi-use recreation center is scheduled to open this summer.
The inaugural GNAC Indoor Track & Field Championship will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Boston University Track & Tennis Center. Running legend Josh Nemzer will serve as the meet manager for the GNAC's six programs: Colby-Sawyer, Emmanuel, Lasell, Regis, Saint Joseph's and Suffolk.
The GNAC Basketball Championships are slated for Saturday, February 29. Last year on the men's side, Jim Calhoun's University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) inaugural team advanced to the championship game, falling to Albertus Magnus College. For the women, Emmanuel College upset nationally-ranked Saint Joseph's of Maine in the GNAC Final before both programs went on to win one game apiece in the NCAA Tournament. In GNAC men's and women's basketball, teams will play each team once in 2019-20, before both sports shift to divisional play in 2020-21.
Spring championships will get underway with the GNAC Men's Volleyball Final on Saturday, April 11, hosted by the highest remaining seed in the six-team tournament field. Longtime GNAC powerhouse Rivier University has regained its place atop the conference, capturing the last two team titles.
Colby-Sawyer is set to host the 2020 GNAC Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Sunday, April 25, after Regis hosted the first two events since the GNAC began sponsoring the sports beginning in 2017-18. It will be a one-day event and will feature GNAC institutions only.
The GNAC Men's Tennis Championship is scheduled for Saturday, May 2 after the tournament gets underway on Wednesday, April 22 with first-round action, followed by the semis on Saturday, April 25. The New Jersey associate member schools (Ramapo, Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers-Newark) of years past will no longer compete as part of the league. The top-six schools will qualify for the GNAC Tournament.
The GNAC Men's and Women's Lacrosse Championships are scheduled for Saturday, May 2 at the highest remaining seeds, with the GNAC Baseball and Softball Tournaments slated to be completed on Sunday, May 3.
In baseball, the No. 1 seed will earn the right to host the Saturday-Sunday portion of the double-elimination tournament. The GNAC previously had a host rotation.
In softball, the No. 1 seed in the North Division will earn the right to host the Saturday-Sunday porion of the double-elimination tournament.
Founded in 1995, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Each year, the GNAC sponsors and administers 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunities and community involvement.
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