Men's Cross-Country Samples Regional Course Amid Strong Field

Fernando Gomez and the Golden Falcons previewed the regional championship course on Oct. 16, 2015. (Dave Schofield)
Fernando Gomez and the Golden Falcons previewed the regional championship course on Oct. 16, 2015. (Dave Schofield)

HOPKINTON, N.H. – The Felician College men's cross-country team finished eighth at the Bruce Kirsh Cup, hosted by Franklin Pierce University on Friday afternoon at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds. Seven out of the 10 participating teams were ranked in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region coaches' poll.

The race allowed participants to preview the course for the 2015 NCAA Division II East Regional championship, which FPU will host at the same site on Nov. 8. The Bruce Kirsh Cup, named for the longtime FPU director of athletics, provided an abbreviated look at the course – the 5,000-meter race was half the distance of the regional meet. Felician was the only Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference member to take advantage of the opportunity.

Junior Mike Secreti (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) was the Golden Falcons' frontrunner, turning in a time of 16 minutes, 16 seconds to place 23rd in the 116-runner field. For the first time this season, senior Aiden Lynch (Marlton, N.J./Cherokee) edged out freshman Andre Francisco (Lyndhurst, N.J./Lyndhurst) for the status of Felician's No. 2 man. Lynch placed 89th with a time of 17:40, while Francisco was 96th in 17:46.

Rounding out the Golden Falcon line-up were sophomore Fernando Gomez (Secaucus, N.J./Secaucus) (109th, 18:44) and junior Connor Gillespie (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J./Hasbrouck Heights) (114th, 21:36).

With 263 points, Felician edged out ninth-place Southern Connecticut State University, the region's No.-9 ranked school, by seven points. The Golden Falcons also finished ahead of Saint Anselm College (277 points), but were 78 points back of seventh-place Assumption College.

The host Ravens put its five scorers among the top nine finishers and won the event by 29 points, nine better than Southern New Hampshire University. FPU is ranked fourth and SNHU fifth in the East Region. SNHU junior Ignatio Hernando was the individual champion in 15:23.