NEW ORLEANS – After winning the America East Conference championship on Saturday, its first team title since 2005, the UMBC men's cross country team has held on to its No. 10 Mid-Atlantic ranking in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Regional Rankings, the organization announced on Monday morning.
By holding on to their ranking, the Retrievers have now been ranked every week that the poll has been released this season, a first in program history.
This past weekend at the conference championships at Binghamton, sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) led the squad for the third time this season by taking third overall as UMBC edged the meet-host Bearcats by just seven points. Senior Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) joined Omar on the All-Conference squad by earning a tenth-place finish in the race.
With the team win, head coach Matt Gittermann and his staff were named the 2013 America East Coaching Staff of the Year.
Behind Omar and Smith, the three other Retriever scorers each finished in the top-20, beginning with senior Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) who finished in 12th. Sophomore Austin Hayslett (Mount Airy, Md./Urbana) was just behind in 14th while senior Brandan McGee (Hiram, Ohio/Crestwood) took 19th.
The victory follows up the team's overall title at the America East Pre-Conference Meet back on Sept. 7 on the same course. In addition, this season the Retrievers earned a top-ten finish at the Navy Invitational (fourth) and Princeton Invitational (seventh), while placing 13th out of 47 teams at the Paul Short Run at Lehigh on Oct. 5.
UMBC will now search for a regional championship when the squad heads back to Lehigh for the 2013 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, which will be held on Nov. 15.