Men’s and Women’s Cross Country

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


A Big Season Ahead

Leo Hainline ’22

Sports Co-Editor

The Providence College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams are off to a flying start, both winning the Friar Invitational that took place just outside state lines in Attleboro, MA at Mark Coogan Course. The Friar women dominated their race, scoring 18 points compared to competitors University of New Hampshire’s 54 points and Stony Brook University’s 67 points.

The women’s success this past weekend was no surprise given that preseason polls ranked the Friars 26th in the nation and second in the Northeast region. Their roster is very international, with four women hailing from Ireland, two from New Zealand, one each from England and Canada, and the seven others being local products from the Northeast.

In addition to having a global team-makeup, the Friars are full of key members who have multiple years of eligibility remaining. Apart from Maria Coffin ’21GS, who was the only Friar to qualify for last year’s Women’s Cross Country NCAA Tournament, the team is primarily led by juniors and a few underclassmen, which was highlighted in the Friars’ performance on Sept. 10. PC’s Laura Mooney ’24 (Cappincur, Ireland), Lilly Tuck ’23 (Sunderland, Canada), and Orla O’Connor ’23 (Waterford, Ireland) took first, second, and third in the Friar’s Invitational. Maria Coffin (Annapolis, MD) was not close behind, finishing fifth. Other Friars Alex O’Neill ’23 (Ennis, Ireland), Kimberley May ’25 (Auckland, New Zealand), and Holly Brennan ’25 (Bettystown, Ireland) also finished in the top 10.

Marcelo Rocha
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Coffin will look to lead this current squad as she is the only Friar to have qualified for the NCAA tournament in cross country this past year. Her qualification followed her fourth-place finish in the 2020/21 Big East Tournament race, which was the best out of any Friar. At the NCAA tournament, she was able to finish 99th out of 253 runners.

One of the main goals of the current squad is to make the NCAA tournament in Florida this November. Mooney, who topped the field in Attleboro two weeks ago, conveyed that “one of the key things for the team to achieve their goal is to work together.” As a sophomore, she is particularly excited about the season as she has yet to experience one under normal conditions given that COVID-19 prevented the team from having a normal season during her first year in Friartown.

The men’s cross country team was similarly successful in Attleboro, scoring 29 points to defeat Stony Brook (34 points), Boston College (77 points), and New Hampshire (102 points). The Friars, who are ranked fifth in the Northeast region, looked sharp with four runners listed in the top 10. Marcelo Rocha ’21GS, the Friars’ star runner from last season who had a fantastic spring track season as well, finished first in the men’s side of the Friar Invitational. He dominated the entire race and finished over 30 seconds faster than second place, earning him Big East Athlete of the Week. PC also had three other runners finishing in the top 10, with newcomer David McGlynn ’GS taking third, Liam Back ’24 finishing sixth, and Ryan Gallagher ’21GS finishing eighth.

The Friars return many of their key members from last year’s roster, with their top seven runners from last year’s Big East Tournament all returning. In addition, many of these runners on coach Ray Tracey’s squad are seasoned veterans. Rocha, who finished eighth in the tournament, Gallagher, who finished 21st, and David Rosas ’21GS, who finished 32nd, were all seniors that season who returned to Friartown as graduate students. Matthew Lepine ’22 is now a senior, as is Sean Meehan ’22. The two finished 47th and 51st respectively. Shane Coffey ’24 and Back were the two young guns on the roster who made valuable contributions. The foreigners, with Coffey from Ireland and Back from New Zealand, had a nice introduction to the states last year in regards to their performances and aim to grow into a bigger role their sophomore year.

Women's XC
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

This Friday, both the men’s and women’s cross country teams will face tougher opposition in the Battle of Beantown, hosted by Boston College. The top five teams in the Northeast on the women’s side will all be in attendance, including the Friars, University of Connecticut, Boston College, Syracuse University, and Harvard University, as well as over 20 other schools. As for the men, every top-five team in the Northeast is competing except for the top-ranked Iona College. In both competitions, the Friars will be the sole BIG EAST representative. This will be a prime opportunity to send a message from afar that PC is a force to be reckoned with on both the men’s and women’s sides. Last year, the men finished fifth in the Big East Tournament, while the women finished third. All signs suggest that both have notably improved since the previous season and should not be overlooked as title contenders.

Wheeler and Coffin Set Pace for Friars Track and Field

by Jack Belanger


Athlete of the Week


Runners Excel in Championship Races

By Joseph Quirk ’23 and Cam Smith ’21

Sports Staff and Sports Co-Editor

Last month, two Providence College athletes took their talents to the NCAA championships. Abbey Wheeler ’20GS finished fifth in the 5,000-meter at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Maria Coffin ’21 placed 99th out of 253 runners at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The Cowl sat down with each runner to reflect on their NCAA experiences, the challenges of racing in the COVID-19 pandemic, and their goals for the future.

Abbey Wheeler ’20GS:

During her illustrious career at PC, Abbey Wheeler ’20GS has been one of the most consistently dominant athletes on campus. Wheeler, recently named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association 2021 Women’s Track Athlete of the Year, recently finished fifth at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships for the 5,000-meter race.

The fifth place finish earned Wheeler an All-American nod, her third in her PC career. The championships took place in Fayetteville, AR, and Wheeler described the experience as both “wonderful” and “different” from other meets she had been to  because of COVID-19 protocols. 

“It’s always so exciting to be at a meet where you’re truly among the best of the best,” Wheeler said. “That’s always a bit nerve-racking, but also exciting where you get to test yourself in a field where there are no soft spots.”

One would imagine that such a race would stir up a slew of emotions, but Wheeler kept herself composed, despite how difficult she said it could be. That would be needed, as she described the race itself as an “odd run” where the pack paced weirdly and stayed together for a lot of the race.

“It was really difficult to remain comfortable and composed with all those weird pacing things going on,” Wheeler said. She added that “with everyone getting a little aggressive with pacing, everyone was pushing and in your head you’re just trying to stay in it until the race actually gets going.” Despite it being easy to lose focus and composure, Wheeler was able to hang on for a strong finish, passing multiple runners in the final lap when the pack finally began to split.

PC Athletics

This was Wheeler’s first appearance at the indoor track championships. She had previously competed in the outdoor championships and had qualified for the indoor race last year; however, it was unfortunately canceled. She said that the finish felt like a “long time coming,” especially because she felt ready to make this breakthrough at last year’s event before its cancellation.

When comparing it to previous 5,000-meter races she had run, she called it her “best performance at the national level. I definitely leveled up a bit there,” Wheeler proudly said. “My last one I was second team All-American, so this was the first time I was first team All-American, so that was super exciting.” She also pointed to a major difference between the indoor and outdoor versions of the 5,000-meter, citing that the indoor race only features 16 runners while the outdoor race features 24.

Following nationals, Wheeler proceeded to again finish fifth overall at the Raleigh Relays, one of the first races of the spring track season. Her finishing time of 15:46.87, as well as previous years’ performances, should be enough to qualify her for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field First Round in Jacksonville, FL on May 27-29.

When asked about the meet, the humble Wheeler mentioned her excitement about her time and possible qualification, before expressing a lot of happiness for her teammates who she also thinks could qualify following their performances. “It was nice to get a bunch of my other teammates to get times that can be competitive to qualify for that as well,” stated Wheeler. “That was pretty much the goal of the meet.”

Wheeler made sure to give credit to her coaches and teammates for keeping each other “grounded” throughout the season, especially with the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic held over both the school and the track season. This was especially important with a short season and a hard winter, making it difficult to stay ready and having less chances to qualify.

When reflecting back on her racing career here at PC, Wheeler noted something interesting. Aside from all the other accomplishments she has, one of her proudest moments actually came from overcoming adversity at a regional meet her junior season. “I was in the 5k and I wasn’t in particularly fantastic shape, but I was racing to get a spot in outdoor nationals,” she started. “And someone stepped on my shoe early on in the race and so I was running with my shoe kinda off. In the last mile I just kicked it off and I was running with only one shoe.”

She said in those kinds of moments it is easy to give up on yourself, but vocal support from her teammates kept her focused and pushed her forward. She ended the race with a qualifying time, and while she said it was not her best race, overcoming that adversity made her really feel that she belonged competing at this level.

As for her goals for the remainder of the season, Wheeler is “just trying to run really fast, make the championship season, and make outdoor nationals. And if I can run fast there, that would be great.”

Maria Coffin ’21:

In October 2020, Maria Coffin ’21 finishing in the top-100 at the NCAA Championships in March 2021 would have seemed improbable. After a summer of hard training, Coffin suffered a femoral stress reaction in October, which effectively shut down her training for the foreseeable future. When she was finally able to ramp back up her training in January 2021, the cross country schedule remained murky as COVID-19 regulations stayed in flux.

Nevertheless, Coffin persevered. Coming into her trip to nationals, she had just raced once, in the Big East Championships. Her performance there booked her a ticket to Stillwater, OK to compete with the best cross country runners in the nation.

The massive field of 253 runners, and a distinctly challenging course, made the event a grueling one for all parties involved. “It was a very difficult course,” said Coffin. “Super windy, super hilly. I’d definitely say it’s the hardest one I’ve run in my career.”

Coffin’s plan going into the race was to stay middle of the pack for the first half of the event, explaining that “in a course like that you can’t really go out too quick, so I was trying to be conservative, stay in the middle, and then do most of my damage in the last half of the race.”

Coffin did just that, passing 28 runners in the final 3,000 meters of the race. “When I finished, I really had no idea where I was,” explained Coffin. “I was hoping I had gotten in the top 100 and luckily I just made that.”

This was not Coffin’s first trip to the biggest stage in the sport. In the 2017-2018 cross country season, her entire team qualified for the event, allowing her to participate in nationals in just her freshman year. That time around, Coffin placed 245th.

PC Athletics

“That was definitely a tough race for me as a freshman,” said Coffin. “I definitely did not do nearly as well [as this time].” Indeed, three years later, Coffin shaved off over a minute on her time, vaulting her up 146 spots. “It was cool to come back and really see that improvement,” she added.

 As much as Coffin was thrilled to be able to finish top-100 at nationals, she also lamented the fact that her team could not be there with her. It was always going to be an uphill battle for the team, as the Big East Championship was the only time they could all compete together as a squad. “We have such a young team, it was pretty difficult for the freshmen without much race experience to jump right into the Big East Conference meet,” said Coffin. “They still did really well there considering that was the first cross country race of their collegiate careers…I think that will help us next year having a few races under our belt.”

 Coffin, a senior who will be returning as a graduate student next year, will get the chance to again lead her team in a season that will hopefully resemble a normal one. She has high hopes for a squad that she says will return more experienced and more confident. Coffin’s goals: a Big East championship, an NCAA regional victory, and a whole team appearance at nationals.

For Coffin herself, “[I want] to improve upon my place and try to get around that All-American top-40 status at nationals.” With a full slate of races next season, and an injury far in the rearview mirror, Coffin has what it takes to do just that.

A Decade of PC Athletics

by Meaghan P Cahill


Friar Sports


A Look Back at a Monumental Ten Years 

By Thomas Zinzarella ’21

Sports Staff

This decade has shown one of the largest growths among every sport at Providence College. There are so many moments to choose from but here are some of the greatest from this past decade:

Coach Ed Cooley holding trophy
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Men’s Basketball Capture 2014 Big East Championship

Ed Cooley and the Friars playing in Madison Square Garden are something Friars fans have begun to enjoy throughout this decade, and it all began back in 2014. This was the first year of the newly aligned 10-team Big East conference and the Friars only championship was back in 1994. The Friars were an NCAA Tournament bubble team coming into the tournament making it vital for them to win. Some had the Friars succeeding and others had them as the first four teams out. Well, the Friars burst a couple of bubbles and downed the Creighton University Blue Jays to punch their ticket. This Creighton team held one of the greatest college basketball players ever to roam the floor, Doug McDermott. The Friars were led by Bryce Cotton ’14 and LaDontae Henton ’15 with a number of other upperclassmen who started the rise of Friar basketball. This would be their first of five straight NCAA tournament appearances and set the standard of what PC basketball is today.

Friars Knock off No. 3 Villanova

Valentine’s Day 2018: The Friars needed a win to bolster their NCAA tournament resume, having already defeated the No. 5/4 Xavier University Musketeers about a month prior in Providence. The holiday featured a Big East match-up against rival Villanova University. The team PC faced is considered by many college basketball critics to be the best team of the decade, as they would go on to win the NCAA Tournament. It was a fast-paced, nail biter of a game as the Wildcats and Friars remained within single digit points of each other over the course of the two halves. Ultimately, the Friars pulled ahead at the end and beat Villanova 76-71 in a game that Cooley cites as “the greatest win” that he has had with the College. Scenes of students storming the court in a matter of seconds have stuck with many Friar basketball fans ever since. The win was a pivotal moment for the team that year as it gave them the momentum they needed to make a push in the Big East Tournament which secured them a spot in the Championship game.

2014 Men’s Soccer College Cup

Just like the men’s basketball team, 2014 brought great success for the men’s soccer team. The Friars advanced to the NCAA tournament as the 11th overall team. The Friars earned themselves a first round bye and picked up victories over Dartmouth University, the University of California-Irvine and the No. 3 team Michigan State University en route to their first ever College Cup appearance. The Friars faced a tough task with in the No. 2 University of California-Los Angeles Bruins and fell 3-2 in double-overtime. Under the direction of Craig Stewart, the Friars have made six NCAA tournament appearances with a follow-up Sweet 16 appearance in 2016 under future MLS star Julian Gressel ’16.

Women’s Cross Country National  Championship

Any time there is a national championship mentioned, it more than likely will be involved as one of the greatest moments. The 2013 National Championship Women’s Cross Country Team is no exception. The Friars were runners up the year prior and would not be deterred the following year. The Friars were led by Emily Sisson ’14 who finished seventh overall. Sisson is now currently competing for a spot on the U.S. National team for this upcoming Olympics and is well known in women’s running. It was the Friars first championship since 1995. Under head coach Ray Treacy ’82, the team has won two national championships and has transformed into one of the best programs in the country.

Cross country team after win
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Men’s Hockey Team Wins 2015 National Championship 

Friars head coach Nate Leaman has elevated this program to national prominence once again and brought the Friars back into the spotlight by advancing to the 2015 Frozen Four. The Friars were one of the final teams to make the tournament and used this motivation to their advantage. After the Friars got past the University of Nebraska-Omaha, the Friars faced off against the Boston University Terriers in the NCAA National Championship game at the TD Garden in Boston. The Friars were searching for their first National Championship in program history and, after falling behind 3-2 after two periods of play, needed some magic to secure the win. In what is considered one of the craziest finishes to an NCAA Championship hockey game, the Friars were able to come out on top in last ten minutes of the third period after finding themselves in a tied game when BU accidentally scored on their own net. It was Brandon Tanev ’15 who flicked in the game-winner wrist shot with just over six minutes left of play that secured the program’s first ever NCAA championship. Tanev would go on to become one of seven Friars to play in the NHL from the team. 

Hockey team celebrating after championship
Photo Courtesy of FTW/USA Today

Women’s Basketball Team Advances it to the 16th Round of the 2018 Women’s Basketball National Invitation Tournament

Women’s basketball had lost its way for a bit after their great success in the 1980s and early 90s at PC. Jim Crowley in his third year at the helm took tremendous strides for the Friars. The Friars made postseason play for the first time since 2010 and just the second time since the Friars advanced to the 1991-92 NCAA tournament. The Friars defeated University of Hartford and University of Pennsylvania to advance to the Sweet 16 of the WNIT and were set to face their fellow Big East foe, the Georgetown University Hoyas. The Friars ultimately fell to them, but this was a special collection of players young and old. Friar fans saw one of the greatest scorers in program history, Jojo Nogic ’19, and featured the Big East Freshman of the Year, Mary Baskerville ’22. Nogic  finished as the 4th all time leading scorer in program history and Baskerville also set the program record for blocks for a freshman and the most by a Friar since the 1999-2000 season. The Friars also won eight games in conference play, the most since the 1996-1997 season. These are just a few of many accomplishments for this women’s basketball program as they look to continue their rise in the rigorous Big East conference.

 

Cross Country Teams Finish Strong

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


By Marc DeMartis ’21

Sports Staff

providence college men's and women's cross country teams
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

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. 

Cross Country Teams Finish Strong

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


By Marc DeMartis ’21

Sports Staff

providence college men's and women's cross country teams
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

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. 

Cross Country Runs in Beantown

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


Wheeler ’20 Wins Women’s Race

By Meaghan Cahill ’20

Sports Co-Editor

providence college cross country battle in Beantown abbey wheeler
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Despite the high temperatures for running this past weekend, Abbey Wheeler ’20 was able to pull off a first-place finish at the seventh annual Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown cross country meet. Having won the race last year as well, Wheeler became the second runner to win back-to-back in the race’s history.

Wheeler, who likened Saturday’s temperatures to last year’s track nationals in Austin, Texas, definitely noticed the heat’s effect on her race.

“This year was a lot harder,” she said. “Last year, I had a big gap so that I could glide in.” The seven-second gap that Wheeler had on the other runners last year was not present in this year’s race. Instead, her win came down to the final 200 meters where she managed to out-sprint the two Syracuse University runners that would take second and third place, respectively. Wheeler’s 17:03 time was not only a personal best for the Franklin Park course where the meet was held, but also a seven second improvement on her time from last year.

“I’m happy for Abbey,” said Providence College Cross Country Head Coach, Ray Treacy. “She’s been running really well for us.”

Wheeler, whose goal for her final season at PC is to find the “perfect” race, said that the Battle in Beantown is the second biggest race of the season for both the Providence College Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams before the Big East Championships and Nationals—the first being the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational meet.

“There is always good competition,” said Wheeler. “Schools come from far away. The bigger the meet is, the further people will come.”

However, despite the importance of the Battle in Beantown for both teams, Wheeler points out, “We don’t race that much, so every meet is important.”

After Wheeler finished, the next Friar for the women’s team to cross the finish line was Maria Coffin ’21. Coffin came in 12th place with a time of 17:40, a 12-second improvement on her 17:52 28th place finish last year.

Lily Tuck ’23, Orla O’Connor ’23, and Hannah McReavy ’22 completed the list of top-five finishers for PC and the women’s team finished eighth out of the 22 women’s teams present.

The men’s cross country team was also present at the meet and finished 12th out of the 21 men’s teams present.

David Rosas ’21 was the first to finish for the Friars. Coming in 24th place overall, Rosas improved upon his last year’s 32nd place finish. After Rosas, Sean Meehan ’22 was the 57th runner to cross the finish line. Peter Rindfuss ’20 and Ryan Gallagher ’21 rounded out the top five runners for the College.

Looking ahead, the Friars will be back at Franklin Park on Oct. 12 for the New England Championships before they head to Madison, Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 18. Following these two big meets, they will head to New Britain, CT for the Central Connecticut State University Mini Meet at the end of October and then the first week of November will be when both teams compete at the Big East Championship meet.

“Big East is really bunched up this year,” said Wheeler. “Usually there is a front-running team but I think depth will play a big role in Big East this year. It is always quite competitive…and so hard to tell.”

With that in mind, the goal for both teams, according to Wheeler, is to continue to return to nationals year after year and put runners up on the podium.

“That is something that we try and build at Providence. That is what you strive to do,” said Wheeler.

Cross Country Teams Ready For New Seasons

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


By Meaghan Cahill ’20

Sports Co-Editor

The time has come for the Providence College Men’s Cross Country Team to show that they are just as strong of a team as their female counterparts have been the last couple of years. 

“They’re going to have a  very good year this year I think,” Providence College Women’s Cross Country Team member Abbey Wheeler ’20 said. “They were kind of in the position we are in now last year. The group of junior boys now remind me of the group of freshmen girls now.”

The boys that Wheeler is talking about includes Marcelo Rocha ’21, who finished first in the team’s first dual meet of the season against the University of New Hampshire. The men’s team placed first, while the women placed third. Rocha, who was the 2016 Massachusetts Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year, finished 35th at last year’s Big East Championship.

The men’s team had runners place in the top 10 out of 11 spots, with a mess of sophomores and juniors taking third through eleventh place. 

“They have a lot of depth,” commented Wheeler, who also placed first at the UNH Dual Meet. “I’m excited to see how far we can take it this year.” 

While the men are already showing their promise for a great season, especially after coming off of a few building years, the women are entering a year of regrowth. 

Having graduated eight seniors and graduate students over the past two years and losing top talent like Millie Paladino ’18 and Catarina Rocha ’18, both of whom have had outstanding seasons with PC, is placing the team in what Wheeler refers to as a rebuilding year.

abbey wheeler providence college men's and women's cross country
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

“The team is a bit different from past years where we have had upperclassmen return with all-star records behind them. This year, the majority of the team will be either freshmen or people that are relatively new to running,” Wheeler said. The women’s team has been collecting a number of championship titles, both individually and collectively over the course of Wheeler’s time in the program. 

Admitting that the team’s 2016 Big East Championship win will be a hard memory to beat in her career as a Friar, Wheeler adds that on the upcoming season is, “kind of a building year, which is really exciting.”

One runner who is new to both PC and running is Orla O’Connor ’23, a native from Waterford, Ireland who set the Irish under-20 record in the 10,000 meter race walk at the European under-20 Championships. 

O’Connor is one of the six freshmen on the women’s 14-member roster this year. She is joined by Ireland native Alexandra O’Neill ’23 and Wellington, New Zealand native Tessa Hunt ’23, all who have chosen the College based on both teams’ head coach, Ray Treacy.

“He’s the reason why I came here…and that’s why a lot of the other girls come here—to be coached by him,” Wheeler said.

A coach at PC for over 30 years, Treacy’s goal for the team is to improve as much as they can individually and as a team, and to finish better than when they started. 

Of course, as Wheeler points out, the season will not be easy for their rebuilding team, and with the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown coming up on Sept. 20, the team will get their first real chance to see where everyone’s legs are. 

“[Beantown] is the second biggest meet we’re going to face before championship season,” Wheeler said. Second to the Wisconsin Invitational, the Battle in Beantown will feature men’s and women’s teams from all over the country. 

Wheeler, who won the event last year and is just hoping to have “another good run” this year, said that the team has “put in a lot of good training.”

Individually, Wheeler is just hoping to make it back to Nationals after coming up short last season. As a team, she wants to see just how far they can make it. 

“We’re just really hoping to finish the season healthy and with some good showing,” said Wheeler.

Friars History: 2013 XCC Underdogs

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


Coach Treacy Discusses Special 2013 Cross Country Season

by Eileen Flynn ’20

Photo Courtesy of The Providence Journal

For the past 33 years, Providence College has been lucky enough to have one of the best cross country and track coaches in the nation. Ray Treacy ’82 came back to coach in 1984, just two years after he graduated. The running program at PC has grown into a powerful dynasty, finishing on the podium in seven different seasons over the course of the last 30 years. I recently got a chance to ask Coach Treacy a few questions about his time at the College. When asked if the big wins and success stories of his former players help him return each year with the same energy, Treacy smiled thinking about the past. “It definitely keeps you motivated. There is a turnover every year, you lose some great runners and bring in others. The cycle has been pretty good to us over the years. Each group that comes into the program motivates you in a different way.”

Although Coach Treacy enjoys every year, there are obviously some seasons that are more memorable than the rest. Luckily for the Friars, there have been two in the past 25 years that have been extra special. In 1995 and again in 2013, Providence College clinched the highest title in the nation and became NCAA champions. Treacy described the season leading up to the 2013 race and the hard work it took to come out on top. “We had the top-three runners in the country on our team: Sarah Law, Emily Sisson, and freshman Catarina Rocha. Our number five person, who is just as important as the number one person, was Grace Thek. Unfortunately, she didn’t race that season until the week before the Big East.” At the pre-nationals meet, PC and all the other contenders were out-raced by Georgetown. Without Thek, Coach Treacy appreciated the lack of attention his team received during the season. He wasn’t nervous about losing a couple spots in the national ranking. In fact, he was grateful that it lightened the pressure on his athletes.

“After we introduced her at the Big East meet, and it went really well, we knew we had a really good chance of winning it.”

Big East was first on the agenda and the athletes from the College were focused and prepared. “We dominated that day. We had three in the top four and Catarina finished in 7th while Grace was closely behind in 13th.”

The confidence that came with winning the Big East helped the Friars in the national competition. Luckily enough, there were no injuries in between races. The three high-profile, all-American runners for Providence were ready to lead their team for one final race. Coach Treacy was grateful for the shortcomings in his 2011 and 2012 seasons because he thinks his team learned a lot from losing. On a very windy day in November, the Friars beat teams like University of Arkansas, Georgetown University, and University of Arizona and took the national title for the first time in over 15 years. “A fall could put an end to your chances of winning so it was all about staying on your feet and executing the race to the best of our ability and we knew we’d win if we could do that.”

It takes a certain type of coach to lead a team to victory. When asked about his coaching style, Treacy gave some insight into how he manages his team. “It’s a very individual sport and we treat everyone individually. You’re a team until you step on the line, you’re an individual from the time the gun goes off to the time you finish and you’re a team again at the finish line. It’s a matter of everyone doing their job on that day, and if everyone does their job than you’re going to be successful.” And successful these Friars were, in 2013 and in seasons since.

Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

This past season was not exactly what Coach Treacy was hoping for, but even the Friars are allowed rebuilding years. “When you don’t go to the NCAA for us, that’s not good. A lot of things didn’t come together for us at the end of the season. To be successful at that level, you have to be good, but you also have to have a little bit of luck as well.” Looking forward, there is hopefully some luck in the future for the Friars. Although they will have a young team by normal standards, Coach Treacy is excited about the new talent joining the experienced group of runners. And with that Coach Treacy tells me, “I am just as excited about what I do now as I was 30 years ago.” The PC family is forever grateful to have a coach and person like Treacy on campus, and will be expecting great things as he continues his coaching career.

Friars Compete at the John Thomas Terrier Invitational Meet

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


by Jack Belanger ’21

The cross country season is long over, but as the Providence College Track and Field Team heads into the midst of the winter track season, records are still being broken, and one runner has been making headlines. While it was Abbey Wheeler ’20 who dominated in the fall, placing first in multiple races and being named both NCAA XC Division I National Athlete of the Week twice, Millie Paladino ’18RS has led the team this winter.

During the John Thomas Terrier Invitational on Jan. 25, running on the indoor track at Boston University, Paladino broke the school record for the 1,000-meter run where she finished with a time of 2:42:13. Not only did her time break the 29-year-old school record, she also broke the New England Collegiate Record and her time is good for 10th best all-time in the NCAA.

Her time is also a huge improvement from last season. At the University of Rhode Island Sorlien Memorial Invitational on January 20, 2018, Paladino finished the 1,000-meter at 2:51:01. Earlier in the winter season she also set a personal best in the 800-meter run during the Penn Challenge, finishing at 2:08:94.

Two other Friars also came in first for their individual events. Brianna Ilarda ’18RS won the 3,000-meter race with a time of 9:12:58. Regan Rome ’18GS and Maria Coffin ’21 were among the leaders for the entire 5,000-meter race. Rome managed to separate herself from the rest of the pack and win with a time of 16:27:34. Coffin finished strong, placing sixth with a time of 16:46:94.

This meet was the second time this winter that Ilarda and Rome have come first for a respective events. At the Penn Challenge, Illarda won the mile while Rome won the 3,000-meter race.

On the men’s side, the Friars found their most success in the 1,000-meter run. Two Friars, Ryan Jendzejec ’21 and Nick Carleo ’19, finished in the top-20 as Jendzejec finished 0.02 seconds before Carleo. With times of 2:28:39 and 2:28:41, respectively, both runner qualified for the IC4A Championships.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will return to Boston University this weekend to take part in the Valentine Invitational. The team will have two more meets after the invitational to prepare for the Big East Championship at the end of the month.

Twenty Friars Named to All-Big East Teams

by The Cowl Editor


Friar Sports


Soccer Teams and Field Hockey  Each Send Five Players

By Cam Smith ’21

Sports Staff

providence college men's soccer
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

The fall sports season has come to a close, meaning that the time to honor athletic accomplishments is now upon us. All six Providence College Division I teams, who finished their seasons by the end of November, saw players receive All-Big East honors. Three of these six teams saw a whopping five players receive conference accolades.

The PC Women’s Soccer Team was one of the teams to nab five All-Big East awards, marking the most in program history. Katie Day ’19 is the second PC women’s soccer player ever to earn back-to-back All-Big East First Team Honors. The dominant defender started every game for the Friars this season, including one in which she headed home the game-winning goal against Marquette University.

Shelby Hogan ‘20RS, Kayla Steeves ’19, and Hannah McNulty ‘21 were awarded Second Team Honors, while Hannah Morgan ’22 was named to the All-Freshman Team. Hogan had a tremendous year in her second season as the team’s goalkeeper, while McNulty led the Friars in goals scored with 10.

shelby hogan providence college women's soccer
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

On the PC Men’s Soccer Team, five All-Big East awards were also handed out. Tiago Mendonca ‘20RS took home First Team Honors as the crafty midfielder led the Friars in goals (five), points (10), and shots (40). Colin Miller ‘19RS and Klisman Sousa ’19RS picked up Second Team Honors. Miller, the starting goalkeeper for the past three seasons, reached eight shutouts for the second time in his very successful career, finishing the season with nine. Two impressive newcomers in Ramzi Qawasmy ’22 and Gil Santos ’22 were named to the All-Big East Freshman Team. Qawasmy logged the second-most minutes of anyone on the team while Santos hammered home three goals.

The field hockey team rounds out the squads to pick up five All-Big East Honors, as the team saw one member named to the All-Big East First Team and four named to the All-Big East Second Team. The team’s five All-Big East selections are the second-most in program history. Corinne Kenney ’19 was the player to find herself on the First Team. She anchored the Friar defense while also setting a career high in assists with five. Her selection only adds to her long list of accolades, including being an All-Academic Team honoree.

Maddie Babineau ’21, Izzy Mendez ’20, Mary O’Reilly ’20, and Lydia Rice ’19 were the four additional players who garnered All-Big East Second Team Honors. Babineau started all 18 games for PC this year and posted career highs in points (12), goals (three) and assists (six). Mendez accumulated a team-best seven goals, while O’Reilly pitched in 10 points. She also received various academic honors. Rice’s lone season in goal for the Friars was a superb one, as she had five shutouts and had the highest save percentage across the entire conference.

providence college volleyball impellizeri
Photo Courtesy of PC Athletics

Moving away from the field and onto the race course, four different Friars picked up All-Big East Honors for the cross country teams. On the women’s side, runners Abbey Wheeler ’20, Regan Rome ’18G, and Tessa Barrett ’18G all finished top 20 at the Big East Cross Country Championships, determining their status as All-Big East. Wheeler capped off a tremendous season with a fourth overall finish in a time of 20:35.3.

For the men, Ryan Gallagher ’21 also earned the Honors due to his top-20 finish at the championships.

The final All-Big East honoree was volleyball star Allison Impellizeri ’19. She was named to the All-Big East Second Team after leading the Friars in kills (326) and total blocks (86). Impellizeri also ranked fifth in hitting percentage in the Big East.

As the athletic calendar moves to the winter season, the Friars who will take to the court and ice can only hope to match the all-around success of the fall athletes.