BALTIMORE – For the first time since 2008, UMBC will host the America East Conference men's and women's cross country championships. The meet will take place at Jerusalem Mills Park in Kingsville, Md. on Saturday, October 29. All nine league members will participate in the championships.
The men's 8,000-meter race gets underway at 10:00 a.m., while the women's 5,000-meter competition starts at 11:00 a.m. Fans can watch live on AmericaEast.TV as Jon Versteeg and UMBC alum Roy Jones, '12 will call the action of both races and can also follow @AE_GameDay on Twitter for up-to-the-minute results.
UMBC senior Hassan Omar became the first Retriever to earn medalist honors at last year's championships, held at Stony Brook University. The UMBC men finished fifth overall as UMass Lowell took home their first league championship.
On the women's side, New Hampshire will be seeking a fourth consecutive title, while UMBC tries to improve upon a fifth place finish in last year's meet at Stony Brook. Retriever senior Sophia Cologer (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) earned All-Conference honors in 2015, placing fifth in the field.
UMBC Championship History Notes
· Hassan Omar became the first Retriever, male or female, to win America East medalist honors at last year's championships.
· The Retriever men have captured two team titles both on the course at Binghamton University in 2005 and in 2013. UMBC coaching staffs, led by Murray Davis in 2005 and Matt Gittermann in 2013, earned Coach/Staff of the Year honors in those meets. UMBC posted third-place finishes in 2012 and 2014.
· Omar became the first Retriever to earn America East All-Conference honors three times (2013, 2014, 2015).
· In addition to Omar, returning senior Jon Luckin earned AE All-Academic honors in 2015.
· The UMBC women are seeking their first America East Conference title. Their best finish was a fourth-place effort in 2014.
· Last season, Sophia Cologer became UMBC's first AE All-Conference performer since Sara Parkinson earned back-to-back honors in 2008 and 2009.
· Cologer earned AE All-Academic honors for the second consecutive year in 2015. Parkinson (2009, 2010) and Kirsten McGoverrn (2012, 2013) also earned a pair of academic accolades.
· UMBC last hosted in 2008, when the meet was held at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md. Stony Brook captured the women's title, while UNH triumphed on the men's side.
Men's Season in Review
- Mount St. Mary's 5k Duals, Sept. 2 - The UMBC men's cross country team opened their 2016 campaign in traditional style, competing at the Mount St. Mary's Dual 5k's. UMBC placed its top five competitors amongst the top 13 attached runners. In his first collegiate race, freshman Matt Bennett(Dunkirk, Md./Northern) crossed the tape first for the Retrievers, completing the 3.11-mile trek in a time of 15:46.2. Junior Rhys Burgett (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) was right behind Bennett, placing sixth in 15:47.2. Nineteen Retrievers took part in the opening day race, as UMBC finished at 2-2.
- Navy Invitational, Sept. 10 – UMBC competed for the second time in eight days and seven Retrievers finished the course within a span of 50 seconds, paced by Rhys Burgett (Severna Park), who placed 13th overall in a time of 26;12.74. Junior Urgy Eado (Rockville, Md./Wootton) and sophomore Nathan Nadal (Silver Spring, Md./Wootton) crossed in back-to-back positions, coming in 15th (26:25.27) and 16th (26:28.10) respectively. National power Navy occupied the first five positions in the meet and totaled 15 points. GW (61) edged UMBC (64) for second place.
· Paul Short Run, Oct. 1 - After a three-week layoff from competition, the UMBC men's cross country team competed in one of the nation's largest meets, the Paul Short Run, held on Lehigh University's Goodman Campus course. For the first time in his career, UMBC junior Urgy Eado (Rockville, Md./Wootton) was the first Retriever to cross the line, trimming over a minute off his time at Navy and coming in at 24:58 over the 8k trek. Eado placed 108th of the 366 competitors in the field.
· Princeton Invitational, Oct. 15 - Eado continued his mid-season surge, pacing the Retrievers with a 14th place effort against a strong field at the Princeton Invitational at the West Windsor Fields. Eado covered the 8k course in 24:36.6. He finished the same course at 25:11 a year ago and ran the 8k in 24:58 two weeks ago at Lehigh. UMBC (345) finished 11th overall in a field of 23 teams.
Women's Season in Review
- Mount St. Mary's 5k Duals, Sept. 2 - The UMBC women's cross country team opened their 2016 campaign against a tough field at the Mount St. Mary's Dual 5k's. UMBC senior Sophia Cologer (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) picked up where she left off last season, as she challenged the top two runners and finished third overall in a time of 18:16.9.Junior Olivia Richter (Oxford, Conn.) cut over 70 seconds off her time on the same course last year, and placed eighth overall in a time of 18:50.3 UMBC finished at 3-3 against the other six schools.
- Navy Invitational, Sept. 10 – Three Retrievers placed amongst the top ten finishers as the women's cross country team competed for the second time in eight days at the Salty Dog Invitational. Cologer continued her excellent early season form, placing second in the 6k event in a time of 22.53.86. Richter finished sixth in a time of 23:30.74, while senior Chelsea Vane (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) also finished in the top ten, crossing the line at 23:54.32. Maryland edged host Navy, 43-48, in the team scoring, while UMBC placed third (69).
· Paul Short Run, Oct. 1 - Cologer led the Retriever effort for the third consecutive meet, as she covered the 6k course in a time of 21:13. She place 80th overall, lowering her time from the previous meet considerably against some of the nation's top competitors. Vane turned in a solid effort, crossing the tape in a time of 21:47, good for 148th position.
· Princeton Invitational, Oct. 15 - Cologer turned in an outstanding performance, placing third overall against a strong field at the Princeton Invitational. She negotiated the 6k course in a time of 21:24.8, cutting five seconds off her 13th place effort from a year ago at Princeton. She has been the Retrievers' top finisher in all four meets to date and eight consecutive meets dating back to 2015. Cologer paced the Retrievers to a seventh-place team finish amongst 22 squads.
Cologer Earns America East Honors
Cologer earned America East Conference Women's Cross Country Performer of the Week honors, for meets ending Sept. 9, 2016.
Head Coach Matt Gittermann
"It's kind of up for grabs this year. No team has really set themselves apart at the top level. [They key is] being engaged from the beginning of the race and then hopefully some home course advantage has its perks and we pick up a couple of extra spots."
Both squads are slated to compete at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals in State College, Pa. on Friday, Nov. 11.