SMITHFIELD, RI (September 8, 2012) - The Sacred Heart men's and women's cross country teams both finished fifth at Saturday's Nassaney Invitational held at Bryant University. The race gave the Pioneers a chance to preview the course that will be the site of the 2012 Northeast Conference Championship in late October.
Boston University won the men's race while Harvard took home the title on the women's side.
Saturday's race featured nine NEC programs running in what could be conisdered a preview of the league title race. The SHU men finished with 142 points and behind Monmouth in third and Quinnipiac in fourth. The Pioneers did finish in front of Mount St. Mary's, Wagner, Saint Francis (PA), Central Connecticut State, Byrant and Fairleigh Dickinson.
The Pioneers had a pair of runners come home in the top-20 in senior Christopher Connelly (Medford, NY) and grad student Rich Marcello (Foster, RI). Connelly ran the 8k course in a time of 26:34.7, good for 15th overall. Marcello finished in 18th place, running in a time of 26:38.0.
The rest of SHU's top-seven finishers was led by sophomore Aleksandr Morin (Durham, CT) in 25th with a time of 26:57.0. Freshman Sean Ferguson (Smithtown, NY) was 32nd (27:11.0), senior Justin Britton (Bay Shore, NY) was 52nd (27:58.5), junior Patrick Peterson (Gloversville, NY) was 58th (28:25.7) and senior Colin Seidl (Cochecton, NY) was 61st (28:46.2).
The Pioneer women finished behind a Quinnipiac team in third place but bested NEC schools Bryant, Monmouth, Central Connecticut State, Wagner, St. Francis (NY), Mount St. Mary's and Fairleigh Dickinson.
Junior Brianna Castrogivanni (Commack, NY) was the Pioneers' lead runner finishing just outside of the top-10 in 11th overall. Castrogivanni finished the 5k course with a time of 18:36.8. Senior Alyssa Selmquist (Northford, CT) took home a top-20 finish with a 17th place showing in a time of 18:54.1.
Fellow senior Michelle Navarro (Piscataway, NJ) finished 28th overall in 19:06.7. Rounding out the top-seven finishers was sophomore Emma Bolduc (Peterborough, NH) was 35th (19:14.4), sophomore Elizabeth Hutchins (Pawcatuck, CT) was 48th (19:41.7), junior Teresa Gagliostro (Township of Washington, NJ) was 52nd (19:50.6) and freshman Shannon Hickey (South Easton, MA) was 68th (20:19.6).
The Pioneers are back in action on September 22nd when they take part in the 36th Annual Fairfield University Victor F. Leeber Invitational.