Smithfield, R.I. (October 27, 2018)—The Mount St. Mary's men's cross country team captured its first Northeast Conference title in 20 years today at the NEC Championships held on a rainy day at Bryant University. The Mount men had four runners earn All-Conference honors. The Mountaineer women's team also had a strong day with a fourth-place finish and a pair of top five performances.
The Mount had four runners earn All-NEC honors, the first time that has happened since 2008. The top 14 finishers at the meet earn All-NEC recognition. Nicolas Fransham paced the Mountaineer men's team with a second place finish at the meet. It is the third consecutive season that Fransham has earned All-NEC honors.
Joining Fransham in the top 10 were Will Merritt, Isaac Kole and Benjamin Finnigan, who finished seventh through ninth, respectively. Mitchel Wileczek rounded out the Mount's top five, finishing 18th overall. The Mount finished with 44 points to win the team title, ahead of Saint Francis U (59) and Wagner (60). Central Connecticut (72), Bryant (143), Sacred Heart (164), St. Francis Brooklyn (178) and Fairleigh Dickinson (242) completed the field.
The Mount last won the men's NEC title in 1998, capping a four-year run of consecutive championships that season. The Mount's victory in the men's championships ended Central Connecticut's record-breaking run of nine consecutive championships. It is the Mount's sixth title since joining the NEC in 1989-90.
Not to be overlooked, the Mountaineer women's team had a fantastic performance as well. The Mount finished in fourth place at the meet while Erin Jaskot and Maddie Kole each posted top five performances to earn All-NEC honors.
Jaskot finished the five-kilometer course with a time of 18:20.5 to finish in third place behind Central Connecticut's Angelia Rafter and Saint Francis U's Hannah Dorian. Kole finished in fifth place in a time of 18:41.1 to earn All-NEC honors for the second time in her career. It is the first time since 2013 that the Mount women's team has had a pair of All-NEC performers in the same season.
Clarke Hooper and Ashleigh Kocher just missed All-NEC honors by finishing in 16th and 18th place overall. Hooper finished the course with a time of 19:14.1 while Kocher was right behind at 19:17.5. Alexandra Kay rounded out the Mount's top five by finishing 35th with a time of 20:10.2.