The 2005 men's cross country team will be without three of its top runners from last season's squad that qualified for the NCAA Championships for 10th consecutive season. Even though the team lost key components, 22nd-year Head Coach Ray Treacy
, believes that this season's team has the nucleus to be another solid squad.
Pat Guidera (Clonmel, Ireland), Pat Moulton (Pelham, N.H.) and Dylan Wykes (Kingston, Ontario), who have been steady performers for the Friars during the last three seasons, all graduated in May.
With their PC careers over, senior Martin Fagan (Mullingar, Ireland), looks to be ready to make a big step and lead the Friars back to the NCAA's for the 27th time in school's history. Fagan had a strong 2004-05 season. During the cross country season, he was PC's top runner, finishing in the top 10 in four of his six meets. He was PC's highest finisher at the NCAA's (33rd) and at the BIG EAST Championships (fourth). He also captured the New England Championships and led the Friars to their 24th New England title. Fagan, who also enjoyed a strong track season, is poised to compete for the BIG EAST individual cross country title and a strong showing at the NCAA's.
Treacy has seen solid progress from several of the returning harriers. Senior Joe Dionne (Oshawa, Ontario) is coming off a strong track season. Treacy is looking for Dionne's performances during the outdoor track season to carry over to this season's cross country competition. Last season while competing for the cross country team, Dionne had two top 10 finishes and he also placed 20th at the BIG EAST Championships.
Sophomore Max Smith (Dunedin, New Zealand) also made strides during his first season at PC. At the BIG EAST Cross Country Championships, Smith placed 14th, leading the Friars to a third-place finish. He continued to improve during the track season, culminating in his qualification for the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, where he competed in the 1,500 meters.
Smith's classmate, Ahmed Haji (West Hartford, Conn.), will be among PC's top four runners. Haji competed at the NCAA's in his freshman season and finished 22nd at BIG EAST Championships. In his collegiate debut, Haji placed seventh at the Providence College Invitational on September 3. In addition, Haji placed 38th at the Roy Griak Invitational and 11th at the New England Championships.
Liam Reale (Hospital, Ireland) will return for his fifth season at Providence College. Reale competed in two cross country meets last season, including the Roy Griak Invitational. Reale will look to begin where he finished off last season as he qualified for the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The Friars also will look for contributions from junior Nick Weidman (Sudbury, Mass.). Weidman, who according to Treacy, has made significant improvement, ended the 2004-05 season by competing in the BIG EAST Outdoor Track & Field Championships. During the cross country season, Weidman competed in three events, including his third-place finish at the New England Sub-Varsity Championships.
Freshmen Richard Yeates (Dublin, Ireland) and Ted Quinn (Beaverton, Oregon) will aim to be among PC's top seven harriers.
The 2005 Friars will have a solid group of veterans and newcomers, which Treacy believes will lead to the team to qualify for the NCAA's for the 27th time in school history.