STANDISH, Maine – Emmanuel College claimed the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Cross Country Championship for their third title in six years, with 44 points in the 5K race at Saint Joseph's College on Sunday afternoon. EC also won the GNAC Championship in 2013 and 2015.
The Saints placed four runners in the top 10 overall including a third place finish from junior Pearl Vercruysse (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) with a time of 20:10. Freshman Hannah Fitzpatrick (Revere, Mass.) placed seventh (20:53) and senior Reilly Boyle (Wells, Maine) was eighth (21:05). Junior Allie Gorrill (Whitefield, Maine) rounded out the top 10 with a 10th place time of 21:25 while freshman Anna Cutrone (Newburyport, Mass.) was the fifth finisher for the Saints in 21st place.
Emmanuel finished 50 points better than Suffolk University who finished second in the team competition with 94 points with the 1-2 combo of junior Emma Weisse and junior Emily Manfra. Weisse won the individual crown with a timem of 19:38 while Manfra was just two seconds off her pace.
The host Monks of Saint Joseph's College placed third (97 points), Colby-Sawyer College was fourth (99), and Regis College rounded out the top five teams with 101 points. Norwich University (123), Simmons University (163), Johnson & Wales University (219), and Lasell College (228) fielded full teams in this year's championship while University of Saint Joseph (CT) entered one individual in the 2018 event.
Individually, Simmons first year Alice Najimy finished fifth with a 20:29 time to take home Rookie of the Year honors.
Suffolk Head Coach Will Feldman, now in his second year as the Rams' leader, earned GNAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year accolades, as chosen by his GNAC coaching peers.
FIRST TEAM ALL-GNAC (top seven individuals):
Emma Weisse, Suffolk
Emily Manfra, Suffolk
Pearly Vercruysse, Emmanuel
Magdalene Mann, Regis
Alice Najimy, Simmons
Kaylan Dunham, Johnson & Wales
Mia Tompkins, University of Saint Joseph
SECOND TEAM ALL-GNAC (individuals placing 8th-14th):
GNAC ALL-SPORTSMANSHIP TEAM:
Alexandria Rogers, Colby-Sawyer
Rachael Nazzaro, Emmanuel
Hannah Blossom, Johnson & Wales
Ashlee DeBarros, Lasell
Robyn Hageman, Norwich
Lizzy Melvin, Regis
Marin Owens, Rivier
Mia Tompkins, Saint Joseph (CT)
Lauren Lecompte, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Gabby Freeman, Simmons
Emily Manfra, Suffolk
TEAM CHAMPION: Emmanuel College
RUNNER-UP: Suffolk University
GNAC RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Emma Weisse (Suffolk)
GNAC ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Alice Najimy (Simmons)
GNAC COACH OF THE YEAR: Will Feldman (Suffolk)
GNAC SPORTSMANSHIP TEAM: Colby-Sawyer College
*Release courtesy of Saint Joseph's College (ME) Sports Information