DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's cross country team will look to continue its recent dominance of the America East Conference. Winners of four of the last five team championships the Wildcats return three of the top five runners in the conference from a year ago as the team looks to make it three titles in a row.
Juniors Steve Meinelt (Topsfield, Mass.) and Peter Mallett (Manchester, N.H.) and sophomore Anthony Truax (Dover, N.H.) will lead the Wildcats this season. Meinelt finished third in America East last year while Truax (4th) and Mallett (5th) finished right behind him, giving UNH five of the top 11 at the 2002 championship with a pair graduated seniors taking second (Dan Hocking) and 11th (Matt Schadow), respectively.
Also expected to make major contributions to the squad this season are senior captain James Olsen (Londonderry, N.H.), senior Mackenzie Kilpatrick (Weare, N.H.) and sophomores Tim Perry (Bethel, Conn.) and Brandon Williams (Manchester, N.H.). Olsen finished 13th last season after taking fifth in 2001. Williams took 17th while Kilpatrick finished 20th. Perry, injured just prior to the cross country championship last year, had an impressive outdoor track season, taking third at the conference 5K. Incoming freshmen expected to add depth to the 2003 squad include Peter Heweins (Richboro, Pa.), Rodolfo Crispin (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Nick Jenkins (Peterborough, N.H.).
The men and women open the season at Providence College's Goddard Park on Friday, Sept. 5 (3:30 p.m.). The conference championships will be at the University at Albany this season on Nov. 1.