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NEC CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS SET FOR SATURDAY
2002 Northeast Conference Cross Country Championship Previews Men's Race - Saturday, Nov. 2 - 12:00 pm (Stanley Quarter Park, New Britain, CT) The 2002 Men’s NEC Cross Country Championship will take place at 12:00 pm on Saturday,November 2, 2002 at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, CT. All twelve NEC schools willcompete in the championship, with Central Connecticut State University serving as the hostinstitution. St. Francis (PA) heads into this weekend’s NEC Championship as the preseasomfavorite, but in order to claim its fourth straight championship, SFPA will need to fend off FairleighDickinson, which has been knocking down the door the last three seasons. An all-NEC performer every year since his freshman campaign, senior Michael Murray(Gaithersburg, MD/Gaithersburg) will be looking to go out on top this year, after being part of thethree previous title squads and placing second individually at the NEC Championships last season.Murray ran last season’s 8k course at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh in a time of 25:32, just sixteenseconds behind graduated winner Kevin Doyle. Look out for sophomore Ryan Sheehan (Pittsburgh,PA/Baldwin) to excel in this year’s Championship, as he has been all season. Sheehan garneredFreshman of the Year honors last year after placing fifth (25:48) at the NEC Championship, whiletaking home NEC Athlete of the Week honors three times this season. Felow classmate RobertMead (Woodbine, MD/South Carroll) rounded out the Red Flash scoring spots, finishing 22nd witha time of 26:56. Watch out for senior Ben McCulloch (Altoona, PA/Altoona) and sophomore ChadHartzell (Butler, PA/Slippery Rock), both have been turning in great times this season. Fairleigh Dickinson, which has finished second in each of the previous three championships, will beaiming to dethrone the Red Flash to earn the program its seventh NEC Championship. The Knightsreturn three all-conference Kenyan runners, who placed between fourth and 11th at last year’schampionship. Senior Erick Too (Eldoret, Kenya/Kapngetuny) placed fourth at 25:45 and wasfollowed by juniors Alfred Korir (Kapsabet, Kenya/Samoei Secondary) in eighth (26:02) andRobert Rotich (Kericho, Kenya/Nakuru) in 11th (26:04) Some other top runners to keep an eye on are juniors Matt Kalinski (Greenwich, CT/Greenwich) ofCentral Connecticut State and Brian Hoffman (Eatontown, NJ/Christian Brothers) of Monmouth.Both cracked the top-ten barrier at last year’s championship and earned all-NEC honors. Alsowatch out for rookies Cleophus Koros (Kapsabet, Kenya/Kapsabet) of Mount St. Mary’s andMichael Charron (Jewitt City, CT/Griswold) of Quinnipiac to generate some excitement, whilechasing down the title. Women's Race - Saturday, Nov. 2 - 11:00 am (Stanley Quarter Park, New Britain, CT) The 2002 Women’s NEC Cross Country Championship will take place at 11:00 am on Saturday,November 2, 2002 at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, CT. All twelve NEC schools willcompete in the championship, with Central Connecticut State University serving as the hostinstitution. St. Francis (PA) heads into this weekend’s NEC Championship as the preseason favorite,but in order to defend its title St. Francis (PA) will need to hold off several teams in the league thathave been running strong all season. St. Francis (PA) captured its second NEC crown in school history last year, after placing runner-upat the NEC Championships in 2000. Head coach Scott Catone returns three of his top five finishersfrom last season’s championship squad and has a lot of depth on his roster to guide the Red Flash toa repeat of last year’s title performance. St. Francis (PA) will be led by all-conference performers,senior Beth Pile (Davidsville, PA/Conemaugh Township), junior Kelly Reap (West Trenton,NJ/Notre Dame) and sophomore Laura Beach (Curryville, PA/Central). Pile paced the Red Flashlast year at the NEC Championships with a second place finish (18:33) on the 5k course at SchenleyPark in Pittsburgh. Reap finished in tenth with a time of 19:03, while not far behind was Beach, whofinished 12th with a run of 19:06. Watch out for senior Kristen Cerasi (East Chester, NY/EastChester) to come on strong at the championships. Cerasi took home Athlete of the Week honorstwice this season and has been running very strong. After placing second last year, Sacred Heart will be looking to dethrone the Red Flash in order toclaim its first-ever NEC Women’s Cross Country Championship. SHU will be led by junior standoutKatherine Wrinkle (Medford, NY/Patchogue-Medford), a two-time all-conference performer, whofinished third (18:35) at last year’s NEC Championship. Seniors Suzanne D’Angelo (Harwinton,CT/Lewis Mills) and Kristina Plourde (Westbrook, ME/Westbrook) will provide the added supportand consistency necessary to challenge the Red Flash. Wagner senior Karina Acevedo (Middletown, NY/Middletown), who won last year’s NECChampionship race in a time of 18:27, will be looking to defend her individual title this year. Alsogunning for a shot at the title will be rookies Stefanie Thomas (Springfield, PA/Springfield) of UMBCand Kate Gwyther (Madison, NH/Kennett) of Quinnipiac. Thomas earned NEC Rookie of theWeek honors three time this season, while Gwyther took home the award twice.