LEOMINSTER, Mass. -- Sophomore Bruno Pires (New Bedford, Mass.) posted a second place individual finish to lead the UMass Dartmouth men's cross country team to the title of the 2018 Fitchburg State Jim Sheehan Memorial Invitational that took place Saturday morning at the Doyle Conservation Center. The Corsair men placed all five scorers in the top 19 and all seven runners in the top 23 in the event to record 50 points overall, topping runner-up and host Fitchburg State's mark of 74 points.
UMass Dartmouth recorded a solid fourth place team finish in the women's race, as junior Jessica O'Reilly's (Millis, Mass.) fourth place individual finish led a trio of Corsairs in the top 22. UMass Dartmouth notched a total of 127 points in the event that Worcester State captured by a point over runner-up Springfield (41-42), with Mount Holyoke (79 points) grabbing third place honors on the day.
Pires, last year's Little East Rookie of the Year, picked up where he left off on the men's side, as he covered the 8K layout in a time of 26:30 to finish seven seconds behind individual champion Dillon VanDemortel of Cobleskill. Senior Jason Karakaedos (Peabody, Mass.), who joined Pires in earning all-Little East accolades in 2017, posted a fourth place performance with a time of 26:44, while freshman Steve Stromski (Melrose, Mass.) followed in 11th place with a mark of 27:58 in his first collegiate race. Freshman Jose LeClerc-Rodriguez (Chelsea, Mass.) was just behind Stromski in 12th place while posting the same finishing time, and senior Mike Tierney (Norton, Mass.) closed out the Corsair scoring with an 18th place time of 28:52. Junior Travis Dolcine (Somerville, Mass.) and freshman Martin Mungai (Dracut, Mass.) recorded times of 29:05 and 29:12 to finish in 21st and 23rd place, respectively, in a field of 91 competitors. Worcester State topped Springfield (83-84) by a point for third place in the final team standings.
O'Reilly covered the 5K women's layout in a time of 19:45 to set the pace for UMass Dartmouth, while sophomore Taylor Walsh (Groveland, Mass.) and junior Victoria Spitaels (West Newton, Mass.) were next in 18th and 22nd place, respectively, after posting times of 20:53 and 21:05. Freshman Alexa Van Voorhis (Raynham, Mass.) and sophomore Stephanie Brogdon (Chelmsford, Mass.) closed out the Corsair scoring with times of 22:48 and 23:16 that were good for respective 40th and 43rd place performances in a field of 109 competitors.
Both Corsair squads, who were making their season debuts under new Head Coach Mike Salem in today's event, will be idle until Saturday, September 15th when UMass Dartmouth hosts its annual invitational on the Bob Dowd Cross Country Course. The men's race begins at 10:30 am, followed by the women's race at 11:15 am.