BROOKLINE, Mass.-- Newbury College hosted the inaugural 2008 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Cross Country Championship yesterday at Franklin Park. Eight of the nine member institutions participated in the race which saw top team finishes from the Daniel Webster Eagles (39 points) on the men's side and the Lesley Lynx (28 points) on the women's side.
The top male finisher of the 8K race was Newbury senior Herrel Siller, Jr. (Palo Alto, Cal.) with a winning time of 27:00 flat. Siller was named the 2008 NECC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year as the first male harrier to cross the finish line. On the women's 5K side, Lesley's sophomore Charlotte Goff (Osterville, Mass.) led all female runners with a top time of 20:47. Goff was named the 2008 Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Daniel Webster took home the title with four harriers placing in the top ten also being named to the 2008 All-NECC first team. The Eagles were led by sophomore Chris LaPlante (Medfield, Mass.) finishing second with a time of 28:15. Seniors' Josh Drazen (Hudson, N.H., 28:41) and Kevin Horton (Kingston, Mass., 29:34) along with freshman Brad Olson (Beverly, Mass., 30:12) rounded out the honorees finishing 4th, 7th and 9th place respectively.
Lesley grabbed the 2008 women's championship with both Goff and the 2008 NECC Women's Rookie Runner of the Year sophomore Jasmine Cuevas (Bristol, N.H.), who finished 4th with a time of 21:36. The Lynx also had two other harriers finish in the top ten to grab All-NECC first team honors. Junior Heather Peng (Palo Alto, Cal.) and freshman Elize McKelvey (Baltimore, Ohio) placed 3rd and 6th with All-NECC times of 21:34 and 22:21 for their 5K finish.
Southern Vermont's freshman Nick Murray (Hummelstown, Penn.) nabbed the 2008 Men's Rookie Runner of the Year finishing in 8th place with a top rookie time of 29:43.
Runner-up honors were won by the Mitchell Mariners on the men's side with a team total of 59, while the Newbury Nighthawks took the second place plaque with a team score of 78 points.
In the men's race, the Lesley Lynx (80 points) placed third; the Southern Vermont Mountaineers (84 points) were fourth; the Newbury Nighthawks (88 points) were fifth; the Elms Blazers (139 points) rounded out the team scoring at sixth.
In the women's race, Elms (100 points) finished third; Southern Vermont (107 points) fourth; Mitchell (116 points) fifth, the Wheelock Wildcats (127 points) sixth and the Bay Path Wildcats (128 points) seventh.
The Newbury men and the Southern Vermont women were each voted the 2008 Cross Country Team Sportsmanship Award recipients. Daniel Webster's head coach Mike Rocco and Newbury's Adam Manewell took home the 2008 Men's and Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year respectively. All eight NECC sponsored head coaches voted on the Team Sporstmanship and Coach of the Year honors.
Rounding out All-NECC Men's honors were Lesley's senior Francis Cusik (Lexington, Mass., 3rd, 28:32); Mitchell's junior Eric Appleby (Monroe, Conn., 5th, 28:55) and sophomore John Hoffman (Bala Cynwyd, Penn., 6th, 29:11); Southern Vermont's Murray and sophomore Lance Spratling (Pittsfield, Mass., 10th, 30:23).
2008 All-NECC Women's Team also included senior Jill Bigos (South Hadley, Mass., 2nd, 21:31), Newbury's freshman Cathryn Comptois (Hubbardston, Mass., 5th, 22:04), Bay Path's freshman Caitlin Ferland (Vergennes, Vt., 7th, 22:33), Mitchell's sophomore Brittany Smyth (Winsted, Conn., 9th, 23:54) and Wheelock's junior Katharine Needham (North Conway, N.H., 10th, 24:03).
Men's Cross Country
Runner of the Year - Herrel Siller, Newbury College
Rookie of the Year - Nick Murray, Southern Vermont College
Coach of the Year - Mike Rocco, Daniel Webster College
Team Champion - Daniel Webster College
Team Runner-Up - Mitchell College
Team Sportsmanship Award - Newbury College
Women's Cross Country
Runner of the Year - Charlotte Goff, Lesley
Rookie of the Year - Jasmine Cuevas, Lesley
Coach of the Year - Adam Manewell, Newbury
Team Champion - Lesley
Team Runner-Up - Newbury
Team Sportsmanship Award - Southern Vermont
Courtesy: NECC Athletic Communications