WSU hosts cross country regionals

WESTFIELD – Westfield State University is hosting the best Division III runners in New England at the 2012 NCAA Regional cross country championships tomorrow at Stanley Park.
The championship meet has grown since Westfield last hosted the New England Regional in 2001 and 2002. There are approximately 350 runners representing 59 women’s team running in the New England Regional championships. The men’s field of 56 teams also has approximately 350 runners.
The men’s 8,000 meters race begins at 11:00 a.m. and the women’s 6,000 meters race starts at 12:00 at the challenging Stanley Park course. Complete details of the New England Regional are located on the Westfield State athletics website.
There are eight regional championships being held throughout the country on Saturday with the top teams and runners advancing to the NCAA Division III national championships Nov. 17 in Terre Haute, Ind.
In the New England women’s regional, the top-rated teams are five nationally ranked teams: MIT, Williams, Middlebury, Amherst and Bates. MIT is ranked first in the nation, Williams is third.
Top contenders for the New England men’s crown are Tufts, Middlebury, Bates, Williams, MIT, and Amherst. Tufts is ranked fifth nationally, Middlebury eighth.
Each team is allowed to enter a maximum of seven runners. Westfield head coach Bill Devine is going with his top seven women’s runners this season: Rachael Cardin, Jenn Holley, Abby Monette, Amy Trainque, Victoria VanAlstine-Tauer, Lynsay Wray and Ashlynne Xiarhos.
Trainque finished 38th during her freshman year in 2011 in leading the Owls to a 14th place team finish at the New England Regional.
On the men’s side, seven of these nine runners will be competing for Westfield on Saturday: Justin Connolly, Steve Connolly, Cam Fairbanks, Anthony Frissora, Tevin Honohan, Mike Kelleher, Tim Shea, Dan Shepard, Mike Skelly. The Owls finished 18th in the 2011 regionals.

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