WINTHROP, Mass. – Due to an impending nor'easter set to hit the region this weekend, the Great Northeast Athletic Conference announced on Thursday morning that the 2018 GNAC Cross Country Championships will be pushed back one day to Sunday, October 28. Saint Joseph's College of Maine will remain as this year's host, as the Monks get set to welcome the GNAC's programs and coaches to the SJC Cross Country trail.
The women's 5K race will begin at 1:00 PM, followed by the men's 8K race at 2:00 PM.
In a vote amongst the league's head coaches, Norwich was picked first with 10 first-place votes and 120 points overall. The Cadets have won each of the last three GNAC Championships, and also won in 2012, from 2005-07, and from 1999-2001.
Suffolk was second in the men's rankings with one first-place vote and 99 points, followed by Colby-Sawyer with 95 points, Emmanuel with 89 points and SJC with 80 points.
Three newcomers look to lead the Monks in this year's championship race, as Troy Hendricks (Hiram, Maine) – a two-time GNAC Rookie of the Week honoree, Jacob Huberdeau (Plaistow, N.H.), and Michael Brooks (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) have finished as the team's first, second, and third runners – respectively – in all six events leading up to this weekend. Junior Ben Plante (Biddeford, Maine) and sophomore Brandon Whitlock (Westbrook, Maine) have also performed well this fall and figure to help Saint Joseph's improve on their projected finish.
The SJC men's team has never won a GNAC Championship, but finished as the runner-up in 2007 and 2013 and both of those events were hosted in Standish. The Monks placed fourth in the 2017 GNAC Championship, which was hosted at Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I.
2018 GNAC Men's Cross Country Pre-Championship Poll
1. Norwich (10) - 120
2. Suffolk (1) - 99
3. Colby-Sawyer - 95
4. Emmanuel - 89
5. Saint Joseph's Maine - 80
6. Regis - 71
7. Johnson & Wales - 59
8. Lasell - 40
9. USJ - 32
10. Rivier - 23
11. Anna Maria - 18
THANKS IN PART TO GNAC SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE