Pride Cross Country Heads to Maine for GNAC Championships

Pride Cross Country Heads to Maine for GNAC Championships

WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College cross country teams will return to Standish, Maine this weekend for the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships, hosted by Saint Joseph's College at the SJC Cross Country Trail.

Because of the predicted nor'easter Saturday, the meet has been moved back one day to Sunday, Oct. 28. The women's five-kilometer race will begin at 1 p.m., followed by the men's eight-kilometer race at 2 p.m.

The Pride competed on the same course three weeks ago at the Runnin' Monks Invitational. The women finished in a tie for fifth place with host school Saint Joseph's College, behind conference foes Emmanuel and Colby-Sawyer but ahead of Simmons and Rivier. The men ended up in fourth place, ahead of Rivier but behind Colby-Sawyer, Emmanuel, and Saint Joseph's College.

After missing the first race of the season, junior Maggie Mann (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) has been Regis's top finisher in the last four races, including top-five placements in each of the last three events. Maddie Boucias (Buckland, Mass.) has also put together a strong year, finishing in the top-15 four times, highlighted by a ninth-place finish two weeks ago at the Suffolk Invitational. Joelle Bockus (Windham, Maine) also brings experience for the Pride women, as she has competed in the conference championship meet in each of the last two seasons.

Freshman Ashleigh Kelley (Stoneham, Mass.) quickly established herself as one of the Pride's top runners, finishing 20th at the season-opening Wellesley Invitational, and then adding two more top-25 finishes to her resume. Other first-year competitors who potentially could help Regis Sunday include Erin Kelley (Stoneham, Mass.), Desiree Jones (Oceanside, Calif.), and Lizzy Melvin (Southington, Conn.).

Thanks to two runners in the top five, including a fourth-place finish for Mann, Regis landed in fourth place as a team at last year's GNAC Championships. In a vote amongst the league's head coaches this year, the Pride landed in sixth place. Emmanuel received seven first-place votes to emerge as the favorite, followed by Norwich and Suffolk.

On the men's side, Jovan Sematimba (Burlington, Mass.) has been Regis's top finisher in every event so far this season, including four top-15 performances. Sean Toomey (Salem, N.H.) has landed in the top 20 three times this year, and he is coming off his personal best eight-kilometer race two weeks ago, posting a time of 28:49 to finish 19th at the Suffolk Invitational.

Shane Romanchick (Trumbull, Conn.) performed well the first time Regis tackled the Monks' course, finishing in 21st place at the Runnin' Monks Invitational in 31:31.2. JJ Pedersen (Milford, Conn.) crossed the finish line close behind Romanchick in that race, ending up in 27th place in 31:50.2.

Nicholas Sahagian (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was among Regis's top five runners at last year's GNAC Championships, and sophomore Matt Sowden (Scituate, R.I.) posted his best time of the year two weeks ago at the Suffolk Invitational. Among the freshmen, Gustavo Novelle-Ruddy (Boston, Mass.) has competed four times this season, while Henry Walker (Brookline, Mass.) has made two appearances for the Pride. Christian Hendricks (Edgewater, Md.) has not competed yet this year but is expected to make the trip to Maine.

With four runners in the top 25, Regis finished third at the 2017 GNAC Championships, the program's first year in the conference. Despite the Pride returning all five runners who scored last year, Regis landed in sixth place in the pre-championship poll. Norwich emerged as the overwhelming favorite with 10 first-place votes, followed by Suffolk and Colby-Sawyer.

Saint Joseph's College is located on Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine, 18 miles northwest of Portland. The cross country trail is located on campus, which has an address of 278 Whites Bridge Road, Standish, Maine, 04084.