By Meaghan Cahill ’20
On your mark, get set, go! The 2018 cross country season has officially begun for the Providence College men’s and women’s teams.
On Sept. 1, both teams traveled to Durham, New Hampshire to compete in the University of New Hampshire dual meet, which included both men’s and women’s teams from the College of the Holy Cross.
In a Northeast Regional poll taken just before the meet, PC’s men’s team was ranked No. 4 and the women’s team was ranked No. 1.
The meet was a success; the men’s and women’s teams both captured their first wins of the season. The men gained a total of 15 points and swept the top eight spots. The women came in positions one, two, and four in the top six—they would go on to win the meet with a total of 22 points.
Abbey Wheeler ’20 was the top runner for the Friars after gaining a lead early on and winning the entire race with a time of 17:21.37. Wheeler finished her previous cross country season in 10th place at the Big East Championship and earned All-Big East First Team Honors.
Finishing closely behind Wheeler, Maria Coffin ’21 finished strong with a time of 17:21.45 to secure second place overall. Last season, Coffin was a top-eight runner for PC all throughout the season and was a member of the Big East Runner-Up team.
In the fourth and sixth positions were graduate student Regan Rome (17:50.58) and Alex DeCicco ’20 (18:00.26). Much like Coffin, DeCicco was a consecutive top-eight runner last season for the Friars and she finished in the Top 50 at the Big East Championship.
The men’s team finished in the top spots as well. Michael Wyman ’19G finished his first race as a Friar in first place overall with a time of 15:05.63. Marcelo Rocha ’21 finished three seconds behind Wyman with a time of 15:08.23. This was Rocha’s first meet as a Friar. Less than a second after Rocha crossed the line, David Rosas ’21 finished third with a time of 15:08.71. Rosas’s time showed an impressive improvement, shaving off over 30 seconds from his time at last year’s dual meet.
The men’s team will be looking towards their seasoned runners to aid them the rest of the season. Austin Scola ’19 is coming into his senior year after being a repeated top eight finisher for the men’s team all throughout last year. He also finished 27th overall at the Big East Championships.
Along with Scola, Liam Harris ’20, who won the UNH dual meet last year, was also a solid top eight finisher and placed 18th overall at the Big East Championships. Harris’s cross country season concluded last year with him earning Big East Second Team honors.
While the men will be looking to their upperclassmen to guide them to a successful season, the women’s cross country team will be looking down to their underclassmen.
Hanna Johnston ’21, who redshirted last season, is expected to have a big inaugural season along with Hannah McReavy ’22.
Prior to joining the Friar Family, Johnston, a Thunder Bay, Ontario native, was a member of the 2017 Canadian Junior Cross Country Team that finished sixth at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Uganda.
McReavy, who is from Colorado, was the Tri-Peaks runner of the year for cross country two consecutive years in a row (2016 and 2017) and finished fourth overall in the Colorado State Cross Country Championships.
PC’s men’s and women’s Cross Country teams will be competing next on Sept. 21 at the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown Meet, hosted by Boston College.