Providence Cross Country’s Rocha Wins BIG EAST Title

Oct. 28, 2017


KENOSHA, WIS. – The Providence College men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the BIG EAST Cross Country Championships on a cold, windy day in Kenosha, Wis. on Saturday, Oct. 28. The women finished second as a team behind graduate student Catarina Rocha’s individual title. In the men’s race, the Providence finished fourth as a team.

The Friars’ trio of Catarina Rocha (Peabody, Mass.), Brianna Ilarda (Perth, Australia) and Millie Paladino (Morgantown, W. Va.) went right to the front of the field immediately after the start of the race. The three and Bella Burda of Villanova had a three second lead on the rest of the field as they passed through the halfway mark.

Over the final 3,000 meters of the race, Rocha pulled away from this breakaway group. She would go on to become the ninth Providence woman to win the individual BIG EAST title. After having finished seventh in 2013, second in 2014, and sixth in 2015, Rocha was finally able to earn an individual BIG EAST cross country title. She is the second in her family to win a BIG EAST cross country title as her father did in 1987 for Boston College.

Ilarda and Paladino both fought hard to line and would finish in second and fourth place, respectively.

The Friars also saw stellar running from Abbey Wheeler (Elmira, N.Y.). Wheeler was a part of the chase pack throughout the entire race and closed hard to finish in 10th place.

Mackenzie Barry (Mendham, N.J.) rounded out the scoring for Providence by finishing in 31st place.

In the end, Villanova would win the team title with 39 points. Providence finished in second with a score of 46.

"The women were close to another title today but Villanova's depth decided the eventual winner,” said Coach Ray Treacy. “Great running up front from Catarina, Bri and Millie"

"I am especially proud of Catarina for winning the individual title,” Coach Treacy continued. “She has been a standout runner for us and she continues her family’s success in the BIG EAST as her father won a Cross Country title in 1987 (for Boston College)."

By finishing in the top ten, Rocha, Wheeler all earned All-BIG EAST First Team Honors.

The men’s race was a tactical affair early on. At the 2,000-meter split, less than two seconds separated first from 20th.

The racing really began between the 2,000 meters and 5,000 meters when a lead group separated themselves. When the separation occurred, Marcus Karamanolis (Wellington, New Zealand) moved in to lead the chase pack.

The men had their best running over the final 3,000 meters as their top six all moved up over this time. Karamanolis was Providence’s top running in 11th place. Not far behind him was Aaron Hanlon (Drogheda, Ireland) and Liam Harris (Douglas, County Cork, Ireland) in 13th and 18th place.

Angus White (New Plymouth, New Zealand) and Austin Scola (Medfield, Mass.) rounded out the scoring for Providence as they finished 25th and 27th respectively.

Providence would finish fourth on the day with 94 points. Georgetown (40), Butler (54), and Villanova (57) would finish in first, second and third place.

"The men had a much improved performance today over their results from Beantown and Wisconsin,” said Coach Treacy. “We will look for them to continue to improve over the next two weeks and compete well at the Northeast Regional in Buffalo."

For finishing in the top 20, Karamanolis, Hanlon and Harris all earned All-BIG EAST Second Team Honors.

Providence will race at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. on Friday, Nov. 10. The teams will look to secure bids to the NCAA Cross Country Championships at the regional meet.

Top 10 Women:
1-Catarina Rocha- 19:59.0
2- Brianna Ilarda- 20:12.0
3- Bella Burda (Villanova)- 20:19.4
4- Millie Paladino-20:27.9
5-Nicole Hutchinson (Villanova)- 20:38.7
6- Lauren Ryan (Villanova)- 20:44.1
7- Kaley Ciluffo (Villanova)- 20:49.7
8- Madeline Britton (Xavier)- 20:51.8
9- Josette Norris (Georgetown)- 20:52.6
10- Abbey Wheeler- 20:53.7

Women’s Team Scores:
1-Villanova 39 points
2-Providence 46 points
3-Georgetown 63 points
4-Marquette 132 points
5-Xavier 136 points
6-Creighton 139 points
7-Butler 186 points
8-Seton Hall 255 points
9-DePaul 273 points
10-St. John’s 279 points

Providence Women’s Results:
1-Catarina Rocha-19:59.0, 2-Brianna Ilarda-20:12.0, 4-Millie Paladino- 20:27.9, 10-Abbey Wheeler-20:53.7, 31-Mackenzie Barry-21:46.7, 37-Maria Coffin-21:58.0, 48-Alexandra DeCicco-22:35.7, 59-Dara Cuffe-23:08.1, 72-Aisling Quinn-23:46.9

Top 10 Men:
1-Jonathan Green (Georgetown) 24:27.6
2-Andrew Marston (Villanova) 24:32.7
3-Casey Comber (Villanova) 24:40.6
4-Reilly Bloomer (Georgetown) 24:50.8
5-Barry Keane (Butler) 24:52.5
6-Matt Lumbar (Butler) 24:55.4
7-Nicholas Wareham (Georgetown) 25:00.6
8-Daniel Pederson (Marquette) 25:01.0
9-Paul Power (Villanova) 25:01.7
10-Johnny Leverenz (Butler) 25:04.5

Men’s Team Scores:
1-Georgetown- 40
2- Butler- 54
3-Villanova- 57
4- Providence- 94
5- Marquette- 129
6- DePaul- 157
8-Xavier- 242
9-Seton Hall- 243

Providence Men’s Results:
11-Marcus Karamanolis-25:04.6, 13-Aaron Hanlon-25:09.3, 18-Liam Harris-25:22.5, 25-Angus White- 25:40.2, 27- Austin Scola-25:50.2, 33- Jack Carleo- 25:55.5, 35- Peter Rindfuss- 25:59.9, 52-Michael O’Leary- 26:31.3, 57-Salvatore Flight- 26:37.7




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