Saturday's Race: The University of Southern Maine will host the NCAA Division III New England Regional Men's Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 11th at the Gorham Country Club. Saturday's meet will begin with the 8k men's race at 11:00 a.m. followed by the 6k women's race at 12:00 p.m.
The Mariners: Cole Brundige (Bainbridge, Wash.), Aylen Wolf (Surry, Maine), Sam Sewall (York, Maine), Anthony Boucher (Byron, Maine), Keenan Martin (Dixfield, Maine), John Brigante (Woodbine, Md.) and Ryan Donlon (Saco, Maine) will compete for the Mariners. Martin is the only Mariner who competed at the race last season.
Participants: This year's men's race includes six teams that are ranked among the top 35 in the USTFCCCA Division III poll. Amherst College leads the nationally-ranked teams slotting in at number six, followed by M.I.T. in 10th place.
Middlebury College (15th), Bates College (21st), Williams College (29th) and Connecticut College (33rd) are also in the November 1 USTFCCCA poll. Other strong teams in the region include Brandeis University, Tufts University, Bowdoin College and W.P.I.
Conference champions expected to participate include the University of Southern Maine (Little East Conference), Wentworth Institute of Technology (Commonwealth Coast Conference), Norwich University (Great Northeast Athletic Conference), Fitchburg State University (MASCAC), Southern Vermont College (Northeast Collegiate Conference), Amherst (New England Small College Athletic Conference), M.I.T. (New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference), and Colby-Sawyer College (North Atlantic Conference).
The MIT men won last year's regional championship on the tiebreaker after tying with Williams College. Both squads compiled 110 points. Amherst College was third with 141 points, followed by Middlebury with153 and Tufts with 159. MIT's Dennis Maloney, who placed fourth at last year's race, is the top returning finisher.
Last Season: Senior Spencer Boonstra placed 214th out of 384 runners to lead Maine Maritime Academy men's cross country to a 41st place finish among 56 teams at last year's NCAA Regional Championship hosted by Westfield State.
Boonstra finished the 8K course at Stanley Park, with a time of 28:23.81 to lead the Mariners, while teammate Zachary Kinsman (Lebanon, N.H.) finished closely behind in 234th with a time of 28:41.4. Chase Hughes placed 247th, Josh Richards finished 276th and Paul Ferreira placed 293rd to round out the top five finishers for the Mariners.
MIT claimed the team victory, with two runners placing in the top five, while Tufts University's Tim Nichols was the overall finisher with a time of 23:54.58.
The Race: The men's race is slated to start at 11:00 a.m. and will cover 8,000 meters.
What's Next: The top two teams from each race will receive the New England region's two automatic qualifying spots for the NCAA Division III National Championship race on November 18 at the North Farm Cross Country Facility in Elsah, Illinois, hosted by Principia College.
Other top finishing teams from each region will vie for at-large bids into the 32-team field that will be announced Sunday afternoon. The top seven individuals in each region from non-qualifying teams will also make the national championship field.