FARMINGTON, ME - The UMPI Men's Cross Country team put their "best foot forward" again in placing eighth of the 11 teams represented at the North Atlantic Conference Championships on Saturday.
The Owls bested Johnson State, Green Mountain, and New England College and were just 26 points behind seventh place Lyndon State. The Owls ran in a tight pack and posted strong individual times to solidify their position.
Colby Sawyer was again the best in the conference, easily outdistancing second place Castleton 37-83. U-Maine at Farmington was a close third at 89 points. Castleton's Grandon Smith (SR, Newtown, CT) cruised the 8K course at 26:24, 20 seconds ahead of UMF runner Jeremiah Sands (FR, Falmouth, ME).
Saul Nunez (SR, Mapleton, ME) was first in for the Owls at 33:11 and 38th overall. Separation between Nunez and teammate Kyle Davis (FR, Addison, ME) occurred late as Davis was but 27 seconds behind Nunez at 33:38 and 40th place. Jesse Gonzalez (FR, Othello, WA) significantly overcame recurring calf tightness to improve to run 34:24 (44th) while Andrew Hunt (JR, Bennington, NH) came in at 34:41, good enough for 47th position. These first four were spread only from 38th to 47th positions and only 90 seconds to set the initial scoring up for Danny Gillotti (FR, Ludlow, ME) to close it out with a hard won 63rd place finish at 36:22.
The Owls will now prepare for the USCAA National Championships in Virginia Beach, VA to be held on November 10th at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex on the Princess Anne Athletic Complex course.