(Dorchester, Mass.) Both the Rivier University Men's and Women's Cross Country teams were in action this afternoon as they competed in the 10th running of the Saints Invitational, hosted by Emmanuel College, on the historic cross country course at Franklin Park on Friday evening. Over 400 runners represented 24 colleges and universities, with 22 women's teams competing in the 5k and 22 men's teams in the 8k event. For the first time in the event's history, the host Saints took team honors on the women's side, placing three runners in the top six and scoring 57 total points. Wentworth Institute of Technology won the men's race with the Leopards sealing up the three positions among the top seven racers, as the team combined for 72 total points.
Fitchburg State University sophomore Nicole Gaffney (Paxton, Mass.) earned the women's individual champion honors with a first place time of 19:58 to pace the women's field of 201 runners. Emmanuel freshman Margaret McCaffrey (East Greenwich, R.I.) and senior Chloe Pangonis (Keene, N.H.) came in second and third place with times of 20:05 and 20:20 while teammate Mimi Duncan (Portsmouth, N.H.) finished sixth at 20:40 to help the Saints jostle for first place, edging out Norwich University by one point.
Rounding out the top five was junior Chapel Guarnieri (Pepperell, Mass.) from Norwich University with a fourth place finish in 20:25 followed by Abigail Keim (Williston, Vt.) of Endicott in fifth with a time of 20:32.
EC rookie Marwah Haq (Methuen, Mass.) finished 14th overall at 21:12 while freshman Katherine Holmberg (North Easton, Mass.) was the fifth finisher for the hosts at 21:51 in 33rd place.
Rivier sophomore Anna Pearsons (Kingston, Mass.) finished right behind Holmberg as the 34th finisher with a time of 21:52. Junior Kathleen Maggio (Londonderry, N.H.) finished 92nd with a time of 24:04 and classmate Christina Dick (Tewksbury, Mass.) was 133rd with 25:33 on the clock.
After Emmanuel and Norwich, Endicott finished third in the team standings with 84 points followed by Johnson & Wales in fourth and Fitchburg State in fifth. The Raiders finished 14th out of 22 teams that competed in the invitational.
On the men's side, Fitchburg State sophomore Jack Hastings (Phillipston, Mass.) crossed the line in 26:31 even for the individual win. Plymouth State first year Sam Brunnette (Newport, Vt.) ran well for a second place finish just two seconds off the pace followed by Johnson & Wales University junior Adam Sachs (Elliot City, Md.) in third for the second consecutive year. Sophomore Patrick Hopkins (Lansdale, Pa.) from Wentworth Institute of Technology was the fourth place finisher with a time of 26:46 while Endicott sophomore Zach Marshall (Hinesburg, Vt.) rounded out the top five runners.
It was tight at the top as Wentworth squeaked past Norwich by just a six point margin, scoring 72 and 78 points respectively. Fitchburg State posted third place honors with 84 points followed by Endicott College in fourth with 106 total points. Plymouth State University finished in fifth with 116 points in the race.
Rivier junior Jonah Prevost (Nashua, N.H.) led the Raiders with an 82nd finish at 30:13 while junior Isaiah Arteaga (West Hartford, Conn.) finished 136th overall, 33:00 time. Sophomore Ryan Coombs (Derry, N.H.) crossed the finished line in 164th place with a time of 35:02.
The Rivier Men's and Women's Cross Country Teams will return to competition on Saturday, October 31st, when the Raiders travel to Standish, Maine to compete in the GNAC Cross Country Championships, hosted by Saint Joseph's College. The women's championship will begin at 1:00 PM and the men will race at 2:00 PM.