Tuesday, November 22, 2005

JUMBO MEN TAKE FIFTH AT NCAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP RACE

MEDFORD Led by junior All-American Joshua Kennedy's (Guilford, CT/Hopkins School) 22nd place finish, the Tufts University men's cross country team raced to a program-best fifth place showing at the 2005 NCAA Division III National Championship Race on Saturday.

Tufts tallied 216 points, comfortably ahead of sixth-place Wartburg College's 247 and well behind fourth place Nebraska Wesleyan's 132. The Jumbos were the highest New England finisher by a long shot, with Wesleyan taking 14th as a team. However, Williams College senior Neal Holtschulte won the individual title with a time of 25 minutes, 13.8 seconds. Wisconsin LaCrosse won the team title with 94 points.

Kennedy ran 26:13 to front the Jumbos to score 13th in the race. It marked the third straight season that he led the Jumbos at the NCAA race. His 22nd is the best Tufts individual finish since Nate Brigham ran 11th in 2002.

The next four Tufts scorers were packed well within finishing places 72-88. Junior Justin Chung (Manchester, CT/Manchester) was the next Jumbo to cross the line in 72nd place with a 26:57.8 finish. Senior co-captain Matt Fortin (Raymond, ME/North Yarmouth Academy) took 81st in 27:03.6, followed a second later by sophomore teammate Chris Kantos (Apple Valley, MN/Eastview) in 83rd at 27:04.6. Senior co-captain Matt Lacey (Amherst, MA/Amherst) completed Tufts scoring with his 88th place showing (27:08.5).

Also competing for the Jumbos was senior Kyle Doran (North Attleboro, MA/Bishop Feehan), who crossed the finish line in 27:32.3 for 127th place, and senior Neil Orfield (Burnsville, MN/Apple Valley) with a 28:04.9 time (176th).

The fifth place finish erases last year's sixth-place effort as the best in Tufts history. It is the fourth top 10 finish in the NCAA race for the program, which was making its eighth appearance in the National Championship race overall.

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