MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY WINS NCAA NEW ENGLAND TITLE, MOVES ON TO NATIONALS
COLLEGE MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY RESULTS
NCAA New England Region Championship Race
At Cumberland, ME
Saturday, November 15, 2003
CUMBERLAND, Me. -- The Tufts University Men's Cross Country team won the 2003 NCAA New England Championship Race on Saturday, and as a result qualified to compete in the NCAA National Championship Race next Saturday (Nov. 22) at Hanover College in Indiana.
In the regional race hosted by the University of Southern Maine at the Twin Brook Recreation Complex, Head Coach Connie Putnam's Jumbos accumulated 74 points to win with relative ease over second-place Keene State College's score of 98. Williams College, which finished third with 107 points, and Amherst College, which placed fourth with 145 points, also qualified for Nationals.
The Jumbos were led by junior All-American Nate Brigham (Penacook, NH), who was the regional runner-up with a time of 25 minutes, 55 seconds. He finished 10 seconds behind race champion Ben Schmeckpeper of MIT, who won with a time of 25:45. Brigham qualified individually for Nationals last season and placed 11th overall.
Also placing in the top ten for Tufts was freshman Josh Kennedy (Guilford, CT) in seventh place with a 26:05 time. Sophomore Kyle Doran (North Attleborough, MA) and junior Brian McNamara (Saratoga Springs, NY) were critical to Tufts' success by finishing back-to-back in 19th and 20th place, posting times of 26:34 and 26:35, respectively. Sophomore Matt Fortin (Raymond, ME) was the fifth and final scorer for the Jumbos, crossing the finish line in 26:47 for 26th place.
Tufts' sixth and seventh runners weren't far behind. Sophomore Neil Orfield (Burnsville, MN) was right behind Fortin in 27th place (26:50) and senior co-captain Peter Bromka was 30th in 26:57.
The team victory was the third major championship of the season for the Jumbos. They won their first New England Small College Athletic Conference title at Middlebury College on November 1. Last Saturday (Nov. 8) on their home course in Grafton, Tufts won the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship. After failing to qualify as a team for Nationals last season, and a poor performance at the national championship race in 2001, the Jumbos will go to Indiana with something to prove.
Racing at Nationals is a tradition for Tufts Men's Cross Country, which has sent the team or individuals to every NCAA National Championship Race since 1994.