Beavers Selected to Finish Second at NAC Championships

Beavers Selected to Finish Second at NAC Championships

Husson headlines the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) women's cross country pre-championship poll, as voted by the league's head coaches. The Eagles received five first-place votes and 60 points, followed very closely by UMaine-Farmington with the remaining three first-place votes and 59 points.

UMaine-Presque Isle was predicted to finish third with 46 points, Northern Vermont-Lyndon fourth with 39 points, and Maine Maritime Academy fifth with 36 points.

Completing the poll are SUNY Canton (22) in sixth, Thomas (15) in seventh, and Northern Vermont-Johnson (11) in eighth.

The NAC Championship race will be held this Sunday, October 28th at the renowned Festival of Champions Course at Troy Howard Middle School course in Belfast, Maine. Hosted by Maine Maritime Academy, the women's race set to begin at 11:00 am, followed by the men's race at noon.

2018 NAC Women's Cross Country Championship Preview

Click the school name to be directed to the men's golf section of each school's website.

1. Husson (60 points / 5 first place votes)

In her fifth year as head coach, Kate Goupee looks to continue a successful streak at the 2018 Championship with another top finish. In the 2017 season, the Eagles finished in fourth place overall at the NAC Championship with two student-athletes claiming top-15 finishes and All-NAC accolades. Returner Lindsey Joliat (Brewer, Maine) took 9th overall in 2017, and cruised into 2018 year posting two top-six times, including a second place finish at the Keene State Rust Buster, and helping the Eagles "take the cake" at the Mariner Invitational in week two. The junior earned NAC Runner of the Week honors following her 6k time at the RSEQ AUS Interlock Meet at New Brunswick, Canada in early October. Two other Eagles to look out for, junior Julia Glisson (Merrimack, N.H.) and rookie Isabelle Jackson (Presque Isle, Maine) kept up the pace on the course, earning top-ten finishes at two meets this fall. Glisson earned NAC Runner of the Week honors after her second-place time at the Mariner Invitational.

2. UMaine-Farmington (59 points / 3 first place votes)

First-year head coach Joe DiSalvo, leads the reigning NAC runner-up team. The Beavers had a strong start to the season at the Mariner Invitational, finishing second place in a close and competitive race. The Beavers have focused on a consistent season, progressing through each meet. The Beavers had a strong showing at the Bowdoin Invitational, where many runners ran personal best times in the 6k, despite very poor weather conditions. Runners to watch include Gwen Baker (Windham, ME), who has continuously improved for the Beavers and performs as a consistent #1/#2 runner for the team. Julia Labbe (Turner, ME) and Chloe Kenyon (Glocester, MA) have also had strong seasons thus far, helping to lead the charge for the Beavers.

 

3. UMPI (46 points)

Veteran Coach Chris Smith is in his 29th year as women's cross country head coach at the University of Maine-Presque Isle. The Owls finished 10th of 11 teams in the 2017 NAC championship race and have shown significant improvement in 2018, adding more depth and talent to the roster this year. Freshman Valentine Degiovanni (Nice, France) has set the pace for the Owls, running consistently and capturing the title in several races leading up to the NAC Championship including the UMPI Invitational September 1, the Mariner Invitational September 8, and the Thomas Invitational October 19. She swept Rookie and Runner of the Week honors the first week of the season and snagged four additional Rookie of the Week honors in four of the next seven weeks. The women's tight top five pack time is a key to success at the Championship.

 

4. Lyndon (39 points)

Decorated head coach Chris Ummer is in his 26th season leading the Hornet women. Lyndon looks to improve upon last year's 5th place finish at the NAC Championship and claim their first NAC title in 2018. The Hornets have run a competitive schedule this fall, led by three-time NAC Rookie of the Week and one-time Runner of the Week Zosia Prince (Sutton, VT) and Rachel Valentine (Clarksdale, AZ).

 

5. Maine Maritime (36 points)

Head Coach Ryan King is leading the Mariners in his eighth season. Maine Maritime finished sixth at the 2017 NAC Championship, led by Sierra James (Campton, N.H.) who placed 17th out of the 95 runners. The Mariners return the top three finishers from last year's NAC Championship team. This fall, the Mariners have been preparing for the NAC Championship race by competing at difficult courses against talented programs, and have set sites on a strong performance on their home course in 2018.

 

6. SUNY Canton (22 points)

Head Coach John Kennedy leads the SUNY Canton women's cross country program in his 10th year with the program. Senior captain Madeline Hewitt (Fabius, NY) has led the Roos in every race she has run this season. The Fabius, New York native clocked a season-best 6-kilometer time of 27:01 at the Roos home invitational to finish in 20th place. The Roos best finish of the season came when they placed third out of five teams at the Castleton Invitational on September 8th.

 

7. Thomas (15 points)

Thomas is led by 10-year head coach Kerry Smart. Thomas has made great strides this season with a young squad. Freshman Olivia Wallace (Jonesboro, Maine) has been the Terriers top performer, with her best finish (12th place) coming at the UMaine-Augusta Invitational. The Terriers will look to build off an 11th place finish at last year's NAC Championship.

 

8. NVU-Johnson (11 points)

Coach Shawn Woods is in his seventh season at the helm for the Badgers, who finished 9th out of 11 teams in 2017. The 2018 team continues to grow and has been bolstered by the return of Senior Lily Denmeade, who returned to the team late in the season. She will be helped by senior Sarah Sodaro ( Monkton, VT) and junior Emily Cass ( Braintree, VT) as they fight for a competitive finish.