STANDISH, Me. – The Mount Ida College men's cross country team's season came to an end on Saturday afternoon on the campus of Saint Joseph's College (ME). Mustang junior Gordon Haner (Mount Sinai, N.Y.) placed 48th overall with an individual time of 34:51, while teammates Jabari Bradley (Farmingdale, N.Y.), 35:50 and Derek Polish (Bow, N.H.), 38:27, each placed 50th and 55th respectively. Freshman Alex Perreira (North Attleboro, Mass.) placed 62nd overall with a time of 39:33. Mount Ida finished the race with 212 team points which was good for 8th place overall.
The Wildcats of Johnson & Wales University totaled 44 team points to win the 2014 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Men's Cross Country Championship.
In one of the most closely-contested men's championships in recent memory, the Wildcats edged Norwich University by just one point to claim the program's fifth GNAC title in the last seven seasons and first since 2011.
Johnson & Wales fielded three of the top four runners, including sophomore Adam Sachs (Ellicott City, Md.), who won the race with a 28:09 performance.
Saint Joseph's finished third with 67 points, Emmanuel College was fourth with 85 points, and Lasell College rounded out the top five grouping with 119 team points. Suffolk University (186 points), Rivier University (200) and Mount Ida College (212) also placed in the annual championship while Anna Maria College competed in the event but did not score.
Individually, Emmanuel junior Sean Colford (Epping, N.H.) – the 2013 GNAC champion – sprinted the last 60 yards to pass Johnson & Wales sophomore Harold Hennessey (Bolton, Conn.) at the finish line and earned runner-up honors with a 28:12 time. Wildcats sophomore Alex Melnick (Port Jervis, N.Y.) placed fourth with a 28:19 effort and Saint Joseph's sophomore Nick Shuckrow (Winslow, Maine) finished fifth after touring the 8K course in 28:35.
As the race-winner, Sachs collects GNAC Runner of the Year honors while Saint Joseph's freshman Lucas Fisher (Strafford, N.H.), who placed sixth with a 28:45 time, claimed GNAC Rookie of the Year accolades after finishing as the top first-year runner. Johnson & Wales Head Coach Hollie Walton was selected as the GNAC Coach of the Year by a vote of his peers.
Men's Yearly Awards:
Men's Runner of the Year - Adam Sachs, Johnson & Wales
Men's Rookie of the Year - Lucas Fisher, Saint Joseph's (ME)
Men's Coach of the Year - Hollie Walton, Johnson & Wales
Adam Sachs (So.), Johnson & Wales
Sean Colford (Jr.), Emmanuel
Harold Hennessy (So.), Johnson & Wales
Alex Melnick (So.), Johnson & Wales
Nick Shuckrow (So.), Saint Joseph's
Lucas Fisher (Fr.), Saint Joseph's
Robert Greene (So.), Norwich
Oliver Wood (Fr.), Norwich
Jarrett Cavanaugh (Fr.), Norwich
Luke Moeckel (Sr.), Norwich
Buck Nichols (So.), Norwich
Mount Ida freshman Jessica Roberts (Mendon, Mass.) finished in 43rd place with an individual time of 23:46 while fellow runner and senior Emily Bernotas (Sunderland, Mass.) placed 55th with an overall time of 24:28 on a rain soaked campus of St. Joseph's College (ME). As a team, the Mustangs finished 8th with a total of 257 points.
Norwich University tallied 66 points to claim the 2014 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Cross Country Championship. With all five scorers in the top 23 individually, Norwich managed to edge Emmanuel College by one point en route to claiming the GNAC women's cross country title for the first time in program history.
Sophomore Chapel Gaurnieri (Pepperell, Mass.) paced the Cadets and claimed top individual accolades with a 20:49 performance, five seconds ahead of Saint Joseph's senior Heather Eaton (Lincolnville, Maine).
Monks senior Amber Dostie (Standish, Maine), the winner of the last three GNAC Championship races, finished third with a 21:02 time, Emmanuel senior Martina Benassi (North Haven, Conn.) placed fourth with a 21:07 effort, and University of Saint Joseph sophomore Kaneen Gomez-Hixon (Wethersfield, Conn.) raced to a fifth-place finish with a 21:31 performance.
Simmons College placed third with 75 points, Johnson & Wales University finished fourth with 82 and Saint Joseph's was fifth with 112. Anna Maria College (141 points), University of Saint Joseph (175), Mount Ida College (257), Lasell College (265) and Suffolk University (293) rounded out the field of 10 scoring programs. Rivier University also competed in the event but did not score.
With the individual victory, Guarnieri collected GNAC Runner of the Year honors while Benassi claimed GNAC Rookie of the Year accolades after finishing as the top first-year runner. Emmanuel Head Coach Tony DaRocha was selected, by a vote of his peers, as the GNAC Coach of the Year.
Women's Runner of the Year - Chapel Guarnieri, Norwich
Women's Rookie of the Year - Martina Benassi, Emmanuel
Women's Coach of the Year - Tony DaRocha, Emmanuel
Chapel Guarnieri (So.), Norwich
Heather Eaton (Sr.), Saint Joseph's
Amber Dostie (Sr.), Saint Joseph's
Martina Benassi (Sr.), Emmanuel
Kaneen Gomez-Hixson (So.), Univ. of Saint Joseph
Kara MacLean (Jr.), Simmons
Kristen Caroselli (So.), Johnson & Wales
Haddie Lary (Fr.), Norwich
Kristen Decesare (Sr.), Johnson & Wales
Maureen Moore (So.), Anna Maria
Content Courtesy of Saint Joseph's (ME) Sports Information