The University of Maine cross country team competed at the NCAA Qualifier at Franklin Park in Boston on Friday, Nov. 13. The men completed the meet 15th overall with a total time of 2:42.25. The women finished in 36th place at 2:03.28 overall.
The men’s team was led by third-year runner Jesse Orach, who finished the race in 47th place with a time of 31:44. Third-year Levi Frye followed at 32:09 in 71st, and then first-year Aaron Willingham at 32:25 in 92nd. Third-year runner Jacob Johns, fourth-year Derrek Schultz and third-year Logan Moses were the final three Maine runners, posting times of 32:51 in 116th, 33:16 in 148th and 33:47 in 183rd respectively. Of those six runners, Orach, Frye and Willingham all managed to place within the top 100 overall participants.
There were 37 total teams who competed in the NCAA Qualifier on Sunday, and the Maine men’s 15th place finish saw them top Boston College, Boston University, Vermont and the University of New Hampshire, along with many others. Syracuse ultimately won the meet, with their final time coming in at 2:33.13, and their first three runners finishing first, second, and third overall.
The Maine women finished ahead of both St. Bonaventure and Niagara, with Providence finishing in first for the women at 1:44.33. Fourth-year runner Annabelle Wilson finished first for the Black Bears at 189th overall, crossing the finish line at 23:57. First-year Haley Lawrence finished 207th and second for Maine at 24:16. Second-year Cassandra Howard was Maine’s third runner, finishing only six seconds after Lawrence with a complete time of 24:22, and 213th in the race. First-year Hope Gardner clocked in at 25:06, which was quick enough to place fourth for Maine and 242nd across the board. Maine’s final entrant was third-year runner Hannah Stefl, who finished at 25:47, and was the 250th runner at the qualifier.
Overall, Maine put on a strong performance, with both the men’s and women’s teams exhibiting their talents, keeping the Black Bears competitive throughout the meet.
The NCAA cross country championship meet is scheduled for Nov. 22, in Louisville, KY.