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CROSS COUNTRY: Colby-Sawyer Sweeps GNAC Championships at Saint Joseph's


Courtesy of SJC Athletics Communications

STANDISH, MAINE – Colby-Sawyer College claimed a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Cross Country Championships on Saturday, as the Chargers' men's and women's teams earned 2019 GNAC Cross Country Championships with 56 and 44 points, respectively, at Saint Joseph's College on Saturday afternoon.

WOMEN: In the first-ever 6K GNAC Championship, Colby-Sawyer placed four runners in the top 11 overall, including freshmen Shannon O'Connell and Zoe Utton, who finished second and third with 23:58 and 24:12 efforts, and senior Alison Fairbairn, who raced to an eighth-place finish with a 25:11 time.

Suffolk University senior Emily Manfra claimed GNAC Runner of the Year honors after pacing the field with a 23:11 time and O'Connell was the runner-up – and GNAC Rookie of the Year as the top-finishing first-year competitor – with a 23:58 performance.

Suffolk finished second with 62 points, Saint Joseph's was third with 104 points, Regis College placed fourth with 117 points, and Emmanuel College rounded out the top five teams with 120 points.

Norwich University (131 pts), Simmons University (147), Johnson & Wales University (234), Rivier University (237), and University of Saint Joseph (286) also competed in the 2019 GNAC Championship.

For Saint Joseph's, freshman Camilla Grosso (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) placed 15th (25:50), first-year Kelsey Kennedy (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) finished 18th (26:04), sophomore Lauren Fisher (Hampton Falls, N.H.) was 19th (26:09), sophomore Julia Heroux (Albion, R.I.) placed 25th (26:57), and senior Marisa Quirion (Gardiner, Maine) raced to a 27th-place finish (27:04).

MEN: Colby-Sawyer featured three runners in the top four overall, as seniors Peter Bakker (26:47) and Ben Jones and junior Liam Fleming finished second through fourth to help the Chargers edge four-time defending GNAC Champion Norwich University by just three points.

Suffolk University sophomore Matyas Csiki-Fejer claimed the individual victory with an SJC course-record time of 26:40, nine seconds faster than the effort posted by James Vance (JWU) in the 2010 GNAC Championship. Csiki-Fejer's performance was just the fifth sub-27 minute time at the SJC course in the last 12 years. Colby-Sawyer's Bakker also broke the course record with a 26:47 time.

Norwich placed three runners in the top-11 overall and finished as the runner-up with 59 points while Suffolk placed third (72), Saint Joseph's was fourth (93), and Emmanuel College rounded out the top five teams with 135 points.

Regis College (159), Johnson & Wales University (192), Lasell University (202), and University of Saint Joseph (213) closed out the 2019 GNAC Championship team standings. Rivier University also competed in the conference meet, but did not field enough runners to notch a team finish.

For Saint Joseph's, sophomore Troy Hendricks (Hiram, Maine) finished fifth with a 27:21 time, sophomore Jacob Huberdeau (Plaistow, N.H.) placed 17th (29:18), and freshman Ricky Reyes (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) was 19th (29:20). Junior Michael Mason (East Bridgewater, Mass.) raced to a 22nd place finish (29:25) and junior Brandon Whitlock (Westbrook, Maine) finished 31st with a 30:12 effort.

WOMEN'S FIRST TEAM ALL-GNAC (top seven finishers):
Emily Manfra, Suffolk
Shannon O'Connell, Colby-Sawyer
Zoe Utton, Colby-Sawyer
Magdalene Mann, Regis
Samantha Molinari, Rivier
Alice Najimy, Simmons
Remi Parker, Norwich

WOMEN'S SECOND TEAM ALL-GNAC (8th – 14th place finishers):
Alison Fairbairn, Colby-Sawyer
Molly Winship, Emmanuel
Marin Stamer, Suffolk
Emily Carrigan, Colby-Sawyer
Maddie Boucias, Regis
Skyler Spanbauer, Suffolk
Hannah Fitzpatrick, Emmanuel

GNAC WOMEN'S RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Emily Manfra (Suffolk), 23:11
GNAC WOMEN'S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Shannon O'Connell (Colby-Sawyer), 23:58 (2nd)
GNAC WOMEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR: Will Feldman (Suffolk)

Abbie Castriotta, Colby-Sawyer
Tierney Bisillion, Emmanuel
Samantha Passetto, Johnson & Wales
Amanda Miller, Lasell
Belle Magna, Norwich
Maggie Mann, Regis
Samantha Hilsman, Rivier
Emily Wassick, U. of Saint Joseph
Liz Cummons, Saint Joseph's
Gabby Freeman, Simmons
Liv Chilcott, Suffolk 

MEN'S FIRST TEAM ALL-GNAC (top seven finishers):
Matyas Csiki-Fejer, Suffolk
Peter Bakker, Colby-Sawyer
Ben Jones, Colby-Sawyer
Liam Fleming, Colby-Sawyer
Troy Hendricks, Saint Joseph's
Jon Pedersen, Regis
Adam Saucier, Norwich

MEN'S SECOND TEAM ALL-GNAC (8th – 14th place finishers):
Erik Brobst, Emmanuel
Kyle Hajj, Emmanuel
Zachary Bergeron, Norwich
Trenton Shimata, Norwich
Hunter Toyoda, Suffolk
Nathaniel Stucky, Norwich
Cole Bolduc, Suffolk 

GNAC MEN'S RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Matyas Csiki-Fejer (Suffolk), 26:40
GNAC MEN'S ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Cole Bolduc (Suffolk), 28:44 (14th)
GNAC MEN'S COACH OF THE YEAR: Lyndsay Ostler (Colby-Sawyer)

Liam Fleming, Colby-Sawyer
Nick Eline, Emmanuel
Nicholas Pereira, Johnson & Wales
Matt Holden, Lasell
Andrew Turner, Norwich
Gustavo Novelle-Ruddy, Regis
Yash Jagtap, Rivier
Alex Gillissen, U. of Saint Joseph
Jacob Huberdeau, Saint Joseph's
Hunter Toyoda, Suffolk 

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. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.