Beavers Voted to Finish Second at NAC Championship

Beavers Voted to Finish Second at NAC Championship

Maine Maritime topped the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) men's cross country pre-championship coaches poll with 59 points and four first-place votes. UMaine-Farmington was close behind with three first-place votes and 54 points. Thomas and SUNY Canton tied for third with 40 points apiece, while Thomas received the remaining first-place vote.

Northern Vermont-Lyndon is predicted to finish fifth with 35 points, and Husson sixth with 33 points. Rounding out the poll are UMaine-Presque Isle (19 points) and Northern Vermont-Johnson with eigth points.

Head coaches vote in the pre-championship poll.

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 men's race starts at noon following the women's race set to begin at 11:00 am.



2018 NAC Men's Cross Country Championship Preview

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1. Maine Maritime Academy  (59 points /4 first place votes)

Head Coach Ryan King is leading the Mariners in his eighth season. Last season the Mariners finished fourth at the NAC Championship, led by All-Conference runner Aylen Wolf (Surry, Maine) who placed 11th overall. The Mariners return two of their top five runners from last year's NAC Championship, including Wolf. This season the squad has been preparing for Championships with a competitive and challenging schedule, and look to impress on their home course.

2. UMaine-Farmington (54 points / 3 first place votes)

First year head coach Joe DiSalvo leads the squad from UMaine-Farmington. Following a third place finish in 2017, the Beavers have had success thus far in their 2018 campaign. Highlights include finishing 1st overall in the Mariner Invitational hosted by Maine Maritime on the championship course, as well as strong individual performances at the Bowdoin Invitational on October 13. Runners to Watch include Jordan Fried (Brookline, MA), who has led the way for the Beavers on two separate occasions this season. Isaiah Reid (Kingfield, ME) has also shown strong performances and looks to be in the front of the pack.




T3. Thomas (40 points / 1 first place vote)

Thomas head coach Kerry Smart leads the Terriers into her 10th North Atlantic Conference Championship. The Terriers have compiled some strong team finishes this season, winning the UMaine-Augusta Invitational and coming in forth at the NAC Preview meet early in the season. Jarrod Ottman (Merrimack, N.H.) has had a strong junior season for Thomas, earning five Runner of the Week honors, and finishing in the top-20 in all five of his races, including wins in the UMaine-Presque Isle and UMaine-Augusta Invitationals, second place finishes at Maine Maritime Academy and Saint Joseph's and 18th place in the Maine State Championship that featured over 200 runners. The Terriers will look to improve on last years team finish of 6th place. 





T3. SUNY Canton (40 points)

Head Coach John Kennedy is in his 10th year as the head coach of the SUNY Canton men's cross country team. The Roos have been led by a trio of freshman this season in Ben York (Auburn, NY), Jesse Walley (Cortland, NY) and Jeremy Gundrum (West Sand Lake, NY). York led the way for the team in the first two races, Gundrum paced the way in the third race, with Walley posted the team's top finishes over the final two races. The trio have all posted times under 30 minutes at the 8-kilometer distance with Walley holding the Roos quickest time of the season in 28:22 (5:42/mile) at the Cross Country Only Championships (CCOC) on October 13th, where team had the best finish of the season.


5. NVU-Lyndon (35 points)

Distinguished head coach Chris Ummer is in his 24th season as the Hornets' men's head coach. Coming off last year's 7th place finish at the NAC Championship, the Hornets look to earn their eighth NAC championship title and their first since 2015. Their seven previous titles are the most of any current or previous conference member. This season the Hornets have run a very competitive schedule led by one-time NAC Runner of the Week and two-time NAC Rookie of the Week Anthony Pifari (Littleton, NH) and senior captain Ben Cornell (Burrilville, RI). 





6. Husson (33 points)

Led by Head Coach 5th year head coach Kate Goupee, the Eagles finished in the top five for the first time in program history in the 2017 NAC Championship. Key returner Zach Hartman (Kennebunk, Maine) collected the program's first All-Conference honor with a 10th place finish last year and posted two top-five finishes this season. Rookie Joel Bond (Houlton, Maine) notched a top-five and top-ten finish this season and also earned NAC Rookie of the Week honors. Goupee and the Eagles aim to challenge for a top spot at the NAC Championship.





7. UMaine-Presque Isle (19 points)

Veteran Coach Chris Smith is in his 32nd year as the head men's cross country coach at UMPI. His team finished eighth of 11 teams in the 2017 NAC championship race and is poised to improve with more depth and talent in the pack this year. Nino Manzella (Queensbury, NY) leads the top five on a familiar course in Belfast. The Owls are on the hunt for the 2018 Championship.





8. NVU-Johnson (8 points)

Coach Shawn Woods returns for his 7th season with the Badgers after a 9th place finish in 2017. Sophomore Sheldon Billings (Ossipee, N.H.), Junior RJ Radcliff (Danbury, Conn.) and Freshman Kenneth Chandler (Morrisville, Vt.) have all been the top finishers for the team in 2018 and will lead the team at the NAC Championship.