Cross country squads compete against nationally-ranked trio at Middlebury
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's and women's cross country teams ran among three ranked squads on Saturday at Middlebury College's Aldrich Invitational, as both Purple Knight squads took third, placing in the upper half of the team standings.
The Panther men and women won both competitions, totaling 15 and 17 points, respectively. Saint Michael's took third out of seven men's squads, notching 94 points in a meet that involved a Middlebury team that is ranked 15th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) Division III national poll. On the women's side, the Purple Knights were third out of seven, collecting 72 points to trail only top-ranked Middlebury and No. 10 State University of New York at Plattsburgh. The Panthers won last year's NCAA Division III championship.
Sophomore Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine/Fort Kent Community) took sixth out of 87 runners in the women's race, clocking in at 19:32 while beating out 25 runners from nationally-ranked squads. Freshman Chloe Boutelle (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Saratoga Springs) was 13th at 19:50, just four seconds short of joining the top 10, while classmate Colleen Gilliatt (Grantham, N.H./Lebanon) notched a 23rd-place showing. The Purple Knights' next three runners took 26th through 28th, finishing within four seconds of one another.
Senior Matt Smith (Winchester, Mass./Winchester/Muhlenberg) topped the Saint Michael's men in 20th place, finishing in 28:13, while classmate Tom Perekslis' (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) 24th-place showing came thanks to a personal best of 28:32. Junior Colin Delaney (Lake Placid, N.Y./National Sports Academy) took 31st, while senior Robert Sitzer (Lenox, Mass./Lenox Memorial) was in 32nd, less than a second behind Delaney.
The Purple Knight teams take next weekend off from competition before hosting the Vermont Intercollegiate Championships on Oct. 1 on campus at Saint Michael's.