Belfast, ME - Wet and tough running conditions greeted the Owls of UMPI last Sunday as they toed the line against the best the North Atlantic Conference had to offer. The previous day's Maine state high school championships beat the course up a bit, but the men from PI powered through to many season and personal bests. Andrew Hunt (Peterborough, NH) came through when it counted, as is typical for him, in placing first for the Owls and 21st overall with his season's best 30:56. Hunter Dionne (Raymond, ME) hit a personal and season's best mark of 31:21 (22nd), a full 63 seconds better than his previous best performance despite the conditions. Team scoring was rounded out by Devon Maynard (Perham, ME) running a personal best of 32:11, good for 27th place. Kyle Davis (Addison, ME) finished 35th (33:29), with Sean Miller (Presque Isle, ME) hitting his own personal best of 33:59 (36th place) to round out the scoring. Nino Manzella (Queensbury, NY) placed 37th at 34:02.
Husson University was the meet winner with 65 points and was followed by Maine Maritime Academy (72), SUNY Canton (79), NVU-Lyndon (99), Thomas (102), UM-Farmington (108), UMPI (141), and NVU-Johnson. The seventh place finish was expected by Coach Chris Smith. He indicated that "the guys were prepared for the conditions due to running in snow the previous week. Northern Maine does have its advantages. Our seventh place is where they were expected to finish so we came through as anticipated".
Next up:The NCAA Division 3 New England regional meet on November 10 at Bowdoin College. The Owls will face as many as 55 of the region's best teams as national qualifying spots are earned.