WESTFIELD, Mass. – The 2019 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Men's & Women's Cross Country Championships were held Saturday morning with the Dean College men's squad and the Elms College women's team both repeating as victors.
It was a picturesque New England autumn morning as the sun glistened off the remaining foliage while a slight breeze created crisp running conditions at Stanley Park.
Leading the way in the men's race was Elms College sophomore Ricky Elmer who crossed the line with a time of 27:43. Meanwhile, Lesley University sophomore Kayla Ranere was the first women's finisher at 22:06.
2019 NECC MEN'S 8K CHAMPIONSHIP
The men's 8,000 meter race was the first of the day with the start-time temperature hovering in the high 40s. Elmer topped his fourth-place finish from a year ago to earn the 2019 NECC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year laurel—easily finishing first overall at 27:43; it took 1:13 for the next competitor to come across the line.
Mitchell College freshman Evan Carney earned the 2019 NECC Men's Cross Country Rookie of the Year award as he finished fourth overall with a time of 29:57. He was the first of two Mitchell newcomers to place in the top five with classmate John Mateo following at 30:06.
Second overall was Eastern Nazarene College sophomore Robert Gorman who crossed with a mark of 28:56, and Dean's top finisher was senior Ross Rubin—coming in at third with a 29:18.
Despite the Bulldogs having only one runner in the top five, Dean was able to take the top spot in the team standings by claiming the sixth, seventh, ninth and 16th individual placements. Dean tallied 41 points to Eastern Nazarene's 53, and Elms was right behind the Lions with 58. ENC and the Blazers each saw four runners land in the top 14 to earn all-NECC honors.
2019 NECC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year
Ricky Elmer, So. / Elms
2019 NECC Men's Cross Country Rookie of the Year
Evan Carney, Fr. / Mitchell
2019 NECC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year
Joseph Cabral, Dean
2019 NECC Men's Cross Country All-First Team
1) Ricky Elmer, So. / Elms
2) Robert Gorman, So. / Eastern Nazarene
3) Ross Rubin, Sr. / Dean
4) Evan Carney, Fr. / Mitchell
5) John Mateo, Fr. / Mitchell
6) Robert Shelley, So. / Dean
7) Yuriy Buttrick, So / Dean
2019 NECC Men's Cross Country All-Second Team
8) Ryan Polsgrove, Fr. / Eastern Nazarene
9) Matt Alport, Jr. / Dean
10) Rich Hernandez, Sr. / Elms
11) Kevin Rodrigues, Jr. / Eastern Nazarene
12) Donald Cianciola, Jr. / Elms
13) Kyandre Martinez, Jr. / Eastern Nazarene
14) Brendan Curley, Jr. / Elms
2019 NECC Men's Cross Country Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team
Hunter White, Dean
Ryan Polsgrove, Eastern Nazarene
Daniel O'Melia, Elms
Vladimir Mendoza, Lesley
Evan Carney, Mitchell
David Naughton, New England College
2019 NECC WOMEN'S 5K CHAMPIONSHIP
Temperatures rose to 56 degrees by the time of the women's 5,000 meter competition as the seven squads took to the starting line. Ranere came through the finish line 11 seconds ahead of the runner-up to earn the 2019 NECC Women's Cross Country Runner of the Year award; it also marked the second-straight year that she made the All-NECC First Team after she finished seventh overall at the 2018 title meet.
New England College freshman Haleigh Bilodeau had a stellar showing in her first collegiate championship—placing second overall with a mark of 22:17 to pick up the 2019 NECC Women's Cross Country Rookie of the Year accolade.
Elms, however, would claim the next five placements to walk away with the crown—posting 20 team points while the next squad totaled 75. That led to head coach Tyler Raymond being selected by his peers as the 2019 NECC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.
EC junior Tyana Medina was the first Blazer to come through the chute—doing so with a time of 22:30. Elms freshman Margaret Mathon and junior Julia Trezza followed at 22:40 and 22:54, respectively, to round out the top five.
Lesley finished second in the team rankings as the Lynx edged Dean (79) by four points.
A pair of Mitchell runners placed high enough to garner all-conference accolades. Aizhane Glenn clocked in at 25:24.1 to finish 11th overall while Grace Burns placed 14th in 26:13.1. Both received all-conference second team recognition, marking the first time in school history that a pair of women's runners achieved the feat in the same season.
2019 NECC Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Year
Kayla Ranere, So. / Lesley
2019 NECC Women's Cross Country Rookie of the Year
Haleigh Bilodeau, Fr. / New England College
2019 NECC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year
Tyler Raymond, Elms
2019 NECC Women's Cross Country All-First Team
1) Kayla Ranere, So. / Lesley
2) Haleigh Bilodeau, Fr. / New England College
3) Tyana Medina, Jr. / Elms
4) Margaret Mathon, Fr. / Elms
5) Julia Trezza, Jr. / Elms
6) Emily Guillerault, Sr. / Elms
7) Keara Moulton, Jr. / Elms
2019 NECC Women's Cross Country All-Second Team
8) Sitaara Muhammad, So. / Dean
9) Carlie Mallo, So. / New England College
10) Michelle Redenz, Fr. / Elms
11) Aizhane Glenn, Fr. / Mitchell
12) Marcenzya Melvin, Fr. / Dean
13) Nathalia Minchala, Fr. / Dean
14) Grace Burns, So. / Mitchell
2019 NECC Women's Cross Country Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team
Kamryn McCorison , Bay Path University
Natalia Minchala, Dean College
Elizabeth Gillis, Eastern Nazarene College
Keara Moulton, Elms College
Kayla Renere, Lesley University
Grace Burns, Mitchell College
Carlie Mallo, New England College