WESTFIELD, MA (October 6, 2012) - The Sacred Heart men's cross country team earned an 18th place finish at the 2012 New England Championship run on Sunday at Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachussetts. The Pioneers were led by senior Christopher Connelly (Medford, NY) who earned All-New England honors for the first time in his career.
The SHU men improved on their 26th place team finish of a year ago. Their 18th place team finish ties the program best team finish in a New England Championship. The SHU men also placed 18th in 2008 and 2009. The Dartmouth Big Green took home the team title at 100th running of the New England Championship.
Connelly was the Pioneers top-runner in the field of 261 runners, placing 25th overall. He clocked in with a time of 25:01.10. The top 30 runners in the race take home All-New England honors. Connelly improved 13 spots on his 38th place performance from 2011. His time of 25:01.10 beat his old personal best of 25:42.3 by 41 seconds. It is also the fastest 8K time in program history on any course, surpassing the 25:09 that Luis German recorded en route to placing 17th in the 2008 edition of the New England Championship.
Freshman Sean Ferguson (Smithtown, NY) was the Pioneers second fastest runner with a time of 25:44.75, placing him 80th overall. Ferguson recorded the highest place finish (80th) in program history by a freshman in the New England Championships. His time of 25:44.75 beat his old personal best of 27:11.0 by 1:26. More importantly, Ferguson recorded the fastest 8K time on any course by a freshman in program history. The previous record of 25:46.6 was set by Connelly in the 2009 UAlbany Invitational. His time also moves him into eighth place overall on the SHU All-Time Performer list for cross country.
Grad student Rich Marcello (Foster, RI) ran 25:59:19 to finish 102nd while junior Patrick Peterson (Gloversville, NY) crossed the tape in 26:07.76 for 123rd. Marcello recorded a seasonal best by 19 seconds. Peterson, who is a middle distance specialist in track, had a big breakthrough race, improving 117 places upon his 240th place finish in the 2011 New England Championship varsity race. His time of 26:07.76 beat his old personal best of 27:50.9 by a whopping 1:43. His time also moves him into 16th place on the SHU All-Time Performer list for XC.
Sophomore Aleksandr Moring (Durham, CT) led the next wave of SHU runners finishing in 149th. Morin's time of 26:23.90 beat his old personal best of 26:51 by just over 27 seconds, and moves him into 19th place on the SHU All-Time Performer list for XC. Senior Justin Britton (Bay Shore, NY) was next up with a time of 26:58.07 beat his old personal best of 27:58.5 by just over a minute, and moves him into 31st place on the SHU All-Time Performer list for XC.
Senior Colin Seidl (Cochecton, NY) posted a seasonal best time of 27:29.73. Altogether, between the varsity and JV races, 16 SHU men broke the 30 minute barrier.
The Pioneers are back at it again this Saturday at the Princeton University Invitational.
All-Time List of All-New England Performances – Men (year, name, place)
2008, Luis German, 17th
2008, John Kenworthy, 24th
2009, Andrew Houghtalen, 23rd
2011, Jeffrey Lusignan, 17th
2012, Christopher Connelly, 25th