DARTMOUTH, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth freshman Ben Braz (Peabody, Mass.) led the Corsairs across the finish line on their home course this morning at the annual University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Cross Country Invitational. The Corsairs earned a total of 354 points to place 12th among the 34 competing teams.
Franklin Pierce sophomore B.J. Smith (Concord, N.H.) was the first individual champion, breaking the tape at 24 minutes, 48.30 seconds. The Ravens placed three runners in the top-six to capture the team championship with 50 points. WPI tallied the lowest point total (100) among NCAA Division III teams to finish second, followed by Brandeis University (105), and New Paltz State (134).
Braz led the Corsairs across the finish line for the first time in his career, following up a third-place performance at the Roger Williams Invitational on Sept. 6. The rookie from Peabody, Mass. covered the course in a time of 26 minutes, 26.18 seconds to place 49th overall in a field of 255 varsity runners. Junior Michael Vaz (Dartmouth, Mass.) posted a time of 26 minutes, 50.36 seconds to finish 66th in the individual standings. Sophomore Sean Herlihy (Walpole, Mass.) and junior Ryan Hayes (Kingston, Mass.) were separated by one runner entering the shoot with times of 27:05.58 and 27:09.23, respectively. Senior Eric Karstunen (Pembroke, Mass.) rounded out the UMass Dartmouth, when he crossed the line at 27 minutes, 14.61 seconds.
In the women's race, East Stroudsburg utilized a first and third place finish to win the team title with 93 points. Sophomore Allison Decker (Milford, Pa.) averaged 5 minutes, 44.5 seconds to complete the 5-kilometer race in a time of 17 minutes, 50.09 seconds. New Paltz State was the top NCAA Division III squad, earning a second place finish with 113 combined points. UMass Dartmouth was 16th overall in the 38-team field with 481 points.
Senior Jessica Connor (Worcester, Mass. / Doherty Memorial) covered her home course in 19 minutes, 02.77 seconds to pace the Corsairs. Connor was 28th overall in a field that included 272 varsity runners. Classmate Katie Sheehan (Scituate, Mass.) placed 49th overall with a time of 19 minutes, 34. 96 seconds. Sophomore Reme DiGovanni (Southborough, Mass. / Algonquin Regional) crossed the finish line at 20:36.46 followed by classmates Jen Miranda (New Bedford, Mass.) and Mary Leach (Peabody, Mass.).
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at noon on Saturday, Sept. 27, when the Corsairs compete at the Bowdoin Invitational in Brunswick, Maine.