DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men’s and women’s cross country teams are set to begin the 2013 season with a home opener Saturday, Aug. 31 against Providence and Holy Cross. The women lead the day off, starting at 11 a.m. while the men follow along at 11:45 a.m. The meet will be the only home competition of the season for the Wildcats.
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The women’s squad recently received the 14th ranking in the Northeast Region Poll that was released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Wildcats finished second at the America East Championships last season followed by a 13th-place result at the NCAA Northeast Regional meet.
Leading the squad will be senior captains Elise Beattie (Woodstock, Ill.) and Anne Twombly (Exeter, N.H.). For Beattie, it is the second consecutive year that she has captained the squad. In 2011, she finished 10th in the America East Championship while in 2012, she finished as the conference runner up in the 5K at the conference indoor championships with a time of 17:15.62. At the outdoor championships, Beattie finished third in the same event as she broke the plane with a time of 17:31.50. In 2012, Twombly finished sixth at the America East Championships. At the New England Championships in 2013, the Granite State native broke the tape in the 1,500 run, taking gold with a time of 4:29.44.
Additionally, the women’s squad contains plenty of depth with multiple experienced returnees, including junior Chelsey Serrano (Manchester, N.H.) who turned in a fifth place finish against Providence (18.30.0) in 2012 and 14th at the America East Championships in 2012. The ‘Cats will also look to sophomores Laura Rose Donegan (Melbourne, Australia) and McKenzie Haney as well as senior Cayla Pellegrini (Derry, N.H.).
The men’s squad also ran to a second place finish at the America East Championships in 2012 as well as a 21st place result at the NCAA Northeast Regional meet. The team has a core of solid returners, including John Prizzi (Wyckoff, N.J.) who turned in a 12th-place finish at the conference championships in 2012 with a time of 26:01.66. The ‘Cats also return junior Sam Gagnon (Hooksett, N.H.), senior Kevin Greene (Silver Spring, Md.) and fellow classmate Joseph Jourdain (Hudson, N.H.), who garnered an 18th-place finish at the conference championships in 2012 (26:10.44).