A new era begins for the UMass Dartmouth men’s cross country team this fall, as Mike Salem takes the reins as the Corsairs’ head coach following the retirement of longtime mentor and University icon Jon Hird. Salem inherits a nucleus of strong returnees and welcomes in a group of talented newcomers who are looking to make a run at the Little East Conference crown in 2018.
Salem, a former assistant at Tufts and head women’s track & field coach at Bridgewater State, will look to senior Jason Karakaedos (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans) and Travis Dolcine (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) to provide leadership as UMass Dartmouth’s co-captains this season. Salem, a former standout at Boston University, describes the duo as “individuals who will inspire direction and purpose for our team. They are well-respected by their classmates and have brought great enthusiasm and unity that will be crucial to our success this season.”
Karakaedos returns after finishing third and earning all-league accolades at last year’s Little East Championships, while sophomore Bruno Pires (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) is also back after capturing the league’s Rookie of the Year honor and posting a sixth place performance at the LEC Championships. Dolcine and senior Tim Post (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro) lend additional experience for the Corsairs, who welcome in senior Mike Tierney (Norton, Mass./Norton), junior George Papoulis (Haverhill, Mass./Haverhill), sophomore Joseph Hamilton (Melrose, Mass./Melrose) and freshmen Okan Canaran (Lakeville, Mass./Apponequet), Jose LeClerc-Rodriguez (Chelsea, Mass./Chelsea), Martin Mungai (Dracut, Mass./Lowell), Carlos Rivera (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) and Steve Stromski (Melrose, Mass./Melrose) into the fold this fall.
Salem’s crew will compete in regular season action at Fitchburg State, the Codfish Bowl, Westfield State and Connecticut College while hosting the UMass Dartmouth Invitational on Saturday, September 15th. The Corsairs will be vying for the Little East title on Saturday, October 27th in Smithfield, R.I. before heading to Brunswick, Maine for the NCAA Division III New England Regionals on Saturday, November 10th.
UMass Dartmouth begins the Mike Salem era on Saturday, September 1st by competing at the Fitchburg State Jim Sheehan Memorial Invitational at the Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster, Mass. at 10:30 am EDT.