Men Run Sixth, Women Ninth at MAAC Championships

Tom Higgins led the men's squad

Oct. 27, 2012

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Watch the MAAC Cross Country Championships Recap Show

Siena Men's Cross Country ran sixth and the women finished ninth at the MAAC Championships Saturday morning at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Fans can tune into a special recap show of the race at 5 p.m. on ESPN3.

A pair of freshmen - Tom Higgins for the men and Molly Maguire for the women - led the Saints as the future continues to look bright for the program. Additionally, the men's sixth place finish was the program's best since 2004.

"Two freshmen had the race of their lives today," said head coach Joanne Dow of Higgins and Maguire. "To come from other sports and not having run alot just shows that there is a great future ahead for these two and our entire freshman class."

Higgins placed 38th overall, finishing the 8K race at the Hess Fields in a time of 26:20.90. Ryan Egan (40th - 26:24.90) and Brendan Gregg (42nd - 26:26.51) also finished in the top-50 for a men's squad that returns its top-5 runners next year.

On the women's side, Maguire continued her strong season and placed 19th overall in the 6K race with a time of 22:29.94. Classmate Christie MacFarlane, who had been the Saints top finisher in each of the first four races this fall, had been racing in the top-15 before having to withdraw late in the race due to illness.

Nonetheless, like the men, the women continued to show great improvement as 13 of the 14 women's runners who completed the course set personal records in the 6K.

Following the meet, it was announced that 11 Saints were named to the MAAC All-Academic Team. To be eligible a student athlete must be at least a sophomore and have accrued a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20.

The men's honorees included juniors Devin Bennett (3.75 - French), Egan (3.69 - Actuarial Science, Computer Science), Gregg (3.20 - Biology) and Mike Thomas (3.52 - Accounting) and sophomore Nick Grudev (3.31 - Biology).

The women's honorees were senior Lia Gizzarelli (3.91 - Biology), juniors Samantha D'Amato (3.40 - Management) and Sarah Palmer (3.56 - Biology) and sophomores Caroline Bertholf (3.52 - Undecided Business), Chelsea Needham (3.87 - Biology) and Carolyn Windover (3.94 - Undecided Business).

The Saints return to action Nov. 9 for the NCAA Northeast Regional in Madison, Conn.