Men’s Cross Country Captures America East Pre-Conference Title; Women Place Third
VESTAL, N.Y. – UMBC junior Eric Schuler (Columbia, Md./Reservoir) took top individual honors with sophomore Redatu Semeon (Waldorf, Md./Thomas Stone) close behind in second as the UMBC men's cross country team won the America East Pre-Conference Meet, Saturday at Binghamton University.
Sophomore Nicole Dawson (Jessup, Md./Hammond) led the way for the women's squad which finished third overall behind Albany and Vermont.
The Retriever men scored just 31 points on the 8k course as Schuler (25:33.1), Semeon (25:38.1), and sophomore Hassan Omar (Frederick, Md./Thomas Johnson) (25:40.2) all earned top-five finishes. Meet host Binghamton placed second with 37 points, with Vermont in third (89 pts.). Albany (104) and league newcomer UMass Lowell (105) completed the men's standings.
Schuler's win is the first of his career and marks the second time he has paced the squad after leading the way at the Mason Invitational last season. Each of the Retrievers' five scoring runners finished in the top-15 as seniors Jake Albino (Hampton, N.Y./Minisink Valley) and Andrew Smith (Chadds Ford, Pa./Garnet Valley) placed 11th (26:03.3) and 13th (26:06.0), respectively.
In addition, non-scorers junior James Beacham (Westminster, Md./Westminster) and freshman Patrick Duboyce (New Market, Md./Linganore) also finished within the top-20 racers, taking 14th (26:07.3) and 15th (26:11.6).
In the women's race, a 5k event, Albany's Brittney Lane won the race in a time of 18:13.4 as the Great Danes (28 pts.) edged Vermont (31 pts.). UMBC scored a total of 82 pts. with Binghamton (114) and UMass Lowell (120) rounding out the standings.
For the Retrievers, Dawson's run (19:15.5) gives the sophomore her first lead-run after scoring in each of the Retrievers' seven competitions a year ago. Freshman Sarah Zielinski (Boonsboro, Md./Boonsboro) earned a scoring spot in her first collegiate meet, taking 13th overall in a time of 19:16.8. Senior captain Cody Mezebish (Westminster, Md./South River) placed 15th (19:25.3) with freshman Cindy Alms (Fulton, Md./Reservoir) and junior Sarah Daly (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) finishing the scoring in 20th (19:42.7) and 23rd place (19:50.6).
Sophomore Angel Bucci (Upper Darby, Pa./Upper Darby) and junior Julie Gessler (Ellicott City, Md./Institute of Notre Dame) did not score for the Black and Gold, but finished in the top-30.
UMBC now has just a week off before traveling to Annapolis for the Navy Invitational/Salty Dog Invitational next Saturday, Sept. 14.
Schuler's time is the second-fastest on the men's 8k course during Binghamton's 13-year Division I era. Donald Drake of Maine set the Division I era course record of 25:29 in 2005.