Cross Country Teams Set To Open Season At New Hampshire

Sept. 3, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College men’s and women’s cross country teams will make their season debuts on Saturday (Sept. 5) at the UNH Dual Meet in Durham, N.H. The women enter the race ranked No. 1 in the Northeast Regional Poll and eighth in the nation, while the men are ranked third in the Northeast and 25th in the nation.

Co-captain junior Catarina Rocha (Peabody, Mass.) will lead the way for the women on Saturday over the 5km course. Last year, Rocha placed second at the BIG EAST Championships and earned her first All-America accolades after a 33rd-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

Joining her will be seniors Sarah Collins (Basil, Switzerland), Lauren Mullins (Binghamton, N.Y.) and Molly Keating (Rehoboth, Mass.). Collins is a three-time All-American, twice in cross country, while Mullins finished as the second Friar (67th overall) at last years’ NCAA Championships. She also earned All-BIG EAST and All-Northeast Regional honors for her 14th and 24th-place finishes, respectively. Keating will look to have an impact this year after cracking Providence’s top-seven the past three consecutive years.

Junior Emily Bushey (Vernon, N.J.) will make her Providence cross country career debut. After last years’ cross country season, Bushey transferred from Louisville. She placed 29th at the Southeast Regional meet and carried her form into the track season for the Friars.

Sophomores Katie Lembo (Penfield, N.Y.) and Brianna Ilarda (Perth, Australia) will also step up to the line. Lembo is coming off of a stellar freshman year, finishing 70th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and 10th at the BIG EAST Cross Country Championships. She also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor First Round Championships in the 5,000 meters. Ilarda finished as Providence’s No. 4 runner at the NCAA Cross Country Championship last year, as well as capturing a second-place finish at the BIG EAST Outdoor Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

On the men’s side, juniors Trevor Crawley (Cumberland, R.I.) and Hugh Armstrong (Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland) will lead Providence. Last year, Crawley placed 20th at the BIG EAST Cross Country Championships and then carried his form into the outdoor track season, qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor First Round the 5,000 meters. Armstrong is coming off of a breakthrough outdoor track season. He recorded a personal best time in the 10,000 meters (29:55.00) at the Penn Relays in April.  

Seniors Christian Costello (Ridgewood, N.J.), Steven Robertson (Wakefield, Mass.), and Joseph Vercollone (Pembroke, Mass.) will contribute their experience to the squad this weekend. Costello placed 15th in the UNH Dual Meet last year, while Robertson placed fifth. Vercollone also captured a 14th-place finish at last years’ meet and then followed that up with a 13th-place finish at the Stony Brook Invitational two weeks later.  

Joining the upperclassmen, sophomores Thomas O’Neill (Middletown, N.J.) and Aaron Hanlon (Drogheda, Ireland) will step up to the line. O’Neill won last years’ UNH Dual Meet, while Hanlon finished 23rd at the 2014 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships.

The women’s race is set to go off at 10:45 a.m. and the men are scheduled for an 11:15 a.m. start. Follow @FriarsXCTrack on Twitter for live updates.

- Go Friars -



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