STANDISH, Maine – Emmanuel College earned the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Cross Country Championship, for the third time in the last six years, with 44 team points in the 5K race at Saint Joseph's College on Sunday.
The Saints utilized significant depth en route to capturing their first conference championship since 2015, with four individuals in the top 11 and seven runners among the first 28 to cross the finish line overall. Sophomore Pearl Vercruysse was third with a 20:10 time, freshman Hannah Fitzpatrick placed eighth (20:53), senior Reilly Boyle was ninth (21:05), and junior Alexandra Gorrill finished 11th (21:25) to help Emmanuel win the title by 50 points, with Suffolk University tallying 94 points as the 2018 runner-up.
Saint Joseph's College finished third (97 points), Colby-Sawyer College placed fourth (99), and Regis College rounded out the top five teams with 101 points. Norwich University (123), Simmons College (163), Johnson & Wales University (219), and Lasell College (228) closed out the group of full teams. University of Saint Joseph (CT) and Rivier University also featured individuals in the 2018 event.
Suffolk junior Emma Weisse posted a 19:38 time to finish first overall and establish a new SJC Course record, topping the 19:46 mark set by Emmanuel's Cat Lariviere in the 2008 GNAC Championship. Another Rams junior, Emily Manfra, also broke the former course record with a 19:40 effort and was second overall while Regis junior Magdalene Mann was fourth (20:20) and Simmons freshman Alice Najimy closed out the top five individuals with a 20:29 performance.
Suffolk Head Coach Will Feldman, now in his second year as the Rams' leader, earned GNAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year accolades, as chosen by his GNAC coaching peers.
For the Monks, senior Sarah Curtin (Strafford, N.H.) placed 12th (21:29), freshman Emma Allen (Jefferson, Maine) finished 15th (21:48), senior Lauren Lecompte was 19th (22:06), sophomore Lauren Fisher (Hampton Falls, N.H.) raced to a 24th-place finish (22:39), and first-year Julia Heroux (Albion, R.I.) placed 32nd (23:06).
FIRST TEAM ALL-GNAC (top seven individuals):
Emma Weisse, Suffolk
Emily Manfra, Suffolk
Pearly Vercruysse, Emmanuel
Magdalene Mann, Regis
Alice Najimy, Simmons
Kaylan Dunham, Johnson & Wales
Mia Tompkins, University of Saint Joseph
SECOND TEAM ALL-GNAC (individuals placing 8th-14th):
Hannah Fitzpatrick, Emmanuel
Reilly Boyle, Emmanuel
Maddie Boucias, Regis
Alexandra Gorrill, Emmanuel
Sarah Curtin, Saint Joseph's
Ashleigh Kelley, Regis
Alison Fairbairn, Colby-Sawyer
TEAM CHAMPION: Emmanuel College
RUNNER-UP: Suffolk University
GNAC RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Emma Weisse (Suffolk)
GNAC ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Alice Najimy (Simmons)
GNAC COACH OF THE YEAR: Will Feldman (Suffolk)
GNAC SPORTSMANSHIP TEAM: Colby-Sawyer College
GNAC ALL-SPORTSMANSHIP TEAM:
Alexandria Rogers, Colby-Sawyer
Rachael Nazzaro, Emmanuel
Hannah Blossom, Johnson & Wales
Ashlee DeBarros, Lasell
Robyn Hageman, Norwich
Lizzy Melvin, Regis
Marin Owens, Rivier
Mia Tompkins, Saint Joseph (CT)
Lauren Lecompte, Saint Joseph's (Maine)
Gabby Freeman, Simmons
Emily Manfra, Suffolk