PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
The Providence College men’s and women’s cross country teams will kick-off the 2014 season at the New Hampshire Dual Meet on Saturday, Aug. 30. The women’s race is set to go off at 11:00 a.m., followed by the men at 11:45 a.m. The meet will take place at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H.
The women return after winning the national crown at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The 2013 season was one of the most successful seasons in Friar history after the team won seven of eight races, capturing the BIG EAST, Northeast Regional and National titles.
This season, the women will return three of the top six runners from the national championship team with the addition of three freshman. The preseason regional poll, released on Aug. 25 by the USTFCCCA, ranked the women third in the northeast and the preseason national coaches poll, released on Aug. 26, ranked the Friars 18th. The women return three-time All-American junior Sarah Collins (Basel, Switzerland), sophomore Catarina Rocha (Peabody, Mass.) and junior Molly Keating (Rehoboth, Mass.). Joining the Friars are freshman Brianna Ilarda (Perth, Australia), Katie Lembo (Penfield, N.Y.) and Mackenzie Barry (Mendham, N.J.).
Racing in the season opener this year are seniors Julie Solimine (Haverhill, Mass.) and Devyn Pryor (Dartmouth, Mass.), and juniors Molly Keating (Rehoboth, Mass.), Lauren Mullins (Binghamton, N.Y.), Katie Sischo (Jamesville, N.Y.) and Kathleen Powell (Wrentham, Mass.). Sophomores Bryanna Allison (Lowell, Mass.), Keelin Hollowood (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Jillian Fanning (Manlius, N.Y.) and Sarah Hammond (Essex, Conn.) and freshman Lembo and Barry also will compete. Fanning, Lembo and Barry will make their collegiate debuts on Saturday.
Last season, the women’s team won the New Hampshire Dual Meet, sweeping the top three individual spots.
On the men’s side, the 2014 season will see all but one runner return from the 2013 team. Last year, the Friars finished 16th at the NCAA Championships with two runners just outside of earning All-America honors. For the 2014 season, the men are ranked third in the northeast regional poll and 16th in the national coaches poll.
Seniors Shane Quinn (Waterford, Ireland), Benjamin Connor (Derby, England), Brian Doyle (Swansea, Mass.) and Liam Hillery (Smithfield, R.I.) will return to lead the team. Joining the Friars for the 2014 season are freshman Aaron Hanlon (Drogheda, Ireland), Thomas O’Neill (Middletown, N.J.), Andrew Doherty (Taunton, Mass.) and Brendan Ungemach (Wayne, N.J.).
To appear on the starting line for the Friars this weekend, Doyle and Hillery will lead the charge. In addition, juniors Christian Costello (Ridgewood, N.J.), Stephen Robertson (Wakefield, Mass.), Brendan Sullivan (Foxboro, Mass.) and Joe Vercollone (Pembroke, Mass.) and sophomores Hugh Armstrong (Balina, County Mayo, Ireland), Trevor Crawley (Cumberland, R.I.), Jonathan Estrada (Los Angeles, Calif.), Jake Feinstein (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Billy Bragg (Middletown, N.J.) will all be opening the season. Ungemach and O’Neill also will race, making their collegiate debuts.
Last season, like the women, the men also won the meet. The Friars had six runners finish in the top seven.
Up next for the Friars will be the Stony Brook Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Stonybrook, N.Y.
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