#23 Stonehill Places 22nd at NCAA Championships

Senior Bryan Wilcox finished 81st overall at the NCAA Championships this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Kody Kahle)

Wilcox and Fontanella lead Skyhawks with career-best performances at NCAAs 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (December 6, 2014) – Stonehill College, ranked 23rd in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll, turned in a 22nd place finish out of 32 teams competing at the 2014 NCAA Division II men's cross country championships held at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park as part of the NCAA Fall Championships festival today.

Stonehill finished right behind Northeast-10 Conference and East Region Champions American International College with 629 points. The Yellow Jackets compiled 620 points, keyed by a third place overall finish for junior Michael Biwott. Adams State College won the team championship for the third straight year with 69 points, led by individual national champion Tabor Stevens, as the senior finished the 9.65-kilometer race, that was shortened due to course conditions from heavy rains in the Louisville area all week, in 30-minutes, 2.00-seconds. Grand Valley State University placed second in the team standings with 127 points, while Augustana (S.D.) University rounded out the top three (136).

Senior Trent Fontanella was right behind Wilcox in 83rd place. (PHOTO BY Kody Kahle)

Seniors Bryan Wilcox (Plantsville, Connecticut/Southington) and Trent Fontanella (Pelham, New Hampshire/Bishop Guertin) led Stonehill with 81st and 83rd place finishes, respectively. Wilcox completed the course in 32:14.5, while Fontanella was close behind in 32:15.0. Wilcox was the third Northeast-10 runner to finish behind Biwott and Adelphi University senior Nicholas Filippazzo who placed 38th overall in 31:28.7, while Fontanella was fourth among NE-10 runners.

Senior Dan Gordon (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Plymouth North) finished 170th overall in the field of 245 runners in 33:17.6. Sophomore Joe Santo (Newburyport, Massachusetts/Newburyport) placed 192nd in 33:51.8, while classmate Tyler Henseler (Coventry, Rhode Island/Bishop Hendricken) rounded out the Skyhawks scoring runners in 195th with a time of 33:58.9.

Both Wilcox and Fontanella bettered their performances at the NCAA Championships over their careers by a wide margin. Wilcox's previous NCAA Championship best was a 131st place finish in 2012 (31:48.7), while Fontanella placed 142nd in 2011 (34:18.4).

Stonehill, which finished second at both the Northeast-10 Conference Championships and the NCAA East Regional, was making its 12th straight trip to the NCAA Championships. The Skyhawks finished six spots higher in the team standings than 2013 with their highest team finish since placing 21st in 2011.

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