By Marc DeMartis ’21
The Providence College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams both ended their fall seasons strong, each team winning the ECAC/IC4A Championship in the Bronx, NY recently. For the men, five finished in the top 12, with Ryan Gallagher ’21 leading the way with his third place finish. On the women’s side, Abbey Wheeler ’20, Maria Coffin ’21, and Lilly Tuck ’23 finished in first, second, and third place, completely dominating the rest of the field. The captain of the men’s team, Michael O’Leary ’19GS, explained just how much this win meant to his team: “It felt great to run well as a team and end our season on a high note. For some of us, it was our last cross country race for Providence so to come away with a win against some good teams was a special moment for everyone there.” With such a strong finish to their fall season, it is time to reflect on all that these teams have accomplished so far.
The men’s team finished in first place out of 25 teams at the New England Championships this year. This was their 26th New England Championships victory, their first since 2014. With this great accomplishment, the Friars hope to keep this momentum going. O’Leary said, “Winning New England was a great day for the team. We ran with a lot of confidence and I think that helped us run as a group and come away with a win.”
At the Big East Championships this year, the women’s team finished in fourth while the men came in fifth place. The women were led by Wheeler, Coffin, and Tuck who all earned All-Big East Honors following the race. Wheeler secured her fourth consecutive year having earned All-Big East Honors, an impressive accomplishment by the senior.
The men were disappointed in their performance this year since they finished in fifth in last year’s meet. O’Leary expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance, saying, “Big East is a big race for us and we definitely wanted to do better. We know we are a better team than fifth, so I know the guys will come together next season and make sure we’re back to where we should be.”
At the NCAA Northeast Regionals, the men finished 13th and the women were 10th with three members of the team earning All-Region honors due to placing in the top 25. Wheeler, Tuck, and Marcelo Rocha ’21 all earned All-Region honors.
With regards to their upcoming spring season, O’Leary explained, “For spring, we always want to make sure we’re setting personal bests, performing well at Big East, and sending as many guys to regionals as possible. We have a really strong team this year and we’re looking forward to racing on the track again soon.” With the fall cross country season coming to an end, the men and women’s track and field season has just begun.