WESTON, Mass. – It took a team effort for the Regis men's cross country team to finish in third place at the 2017 GNAC Cross Country Championships, and that same philosophy will be needed to keep the Pride competitive heading into the 2018 campaign.
Seven student-athletes return for the Pride in 2018, including the top four Pride finishers from last year's GNAC Championships who all ended up in the top 25. Junior Jovan Sematimba earned Second Team All-GNAC honors thanks to a 12th place finish at the conference championships last season.
JJ Pedersen and Shane Romanchick worked together to finish in the top 20 just eight seconds apart at last year's GNAC Championships and will be counted on to show that same teamwork in 2018. Sean Toomey finished in 25th place at the league championships as a freshman and will work to improve upon that result in the upcoming year.
Senior Kyle Gillen-Hughes, junior Nicholas Sahagian, and sophomore Matt Sowden are the other returners adding experience to this year's cross country squad. They will be joined by three newcomers: Christian Hendricks, Gustavo Novelle-Ruddy, and Henry Walker.
According to the GNAC coaches, Regis will be a contender for the league title this season, as the Pride finished third in the preseason poll with 92 points, just behind second place Emmanuel with 96 points. Defending conference champion Norwich was the unanimous selection as the preseason favorite, receiving all 11 first-place votes for 121 points.
Saint Joseph's (Maine), hosting this year's GNAC Championships, finished fourth in the poll with 84 points, just ahead of fifth place Colby-Sawyer with 83 points. Johnson & Wales ended up sixth with 68 points, followed by Suffolk in seventh place with 59 points and Lasell in eighth place with 50 points. Rivier collected 29 points for ninth place, ahead of Saint Joseph (Conn.) with 25 points and Anna Maria with 19 points.
The Pride's schedule features trips to UMass Dartmouth and Gordon College in September, and then Regis will compete in the Runnin' Monks Invitational on Oct. 6, using the same course that will host this year's GNAC Championships three weeks later.
Regis opens the 2018 season with the Wellesley Invitational, taking place at the Nehoiden Golf Club in Wellesley, Mass., this Friday, Aug. 31, starting at 6 p.m.