Tag: Stonehill College


The Stonehill men’s team won the east region and were ranked 20th in the nation heading into the NCAA Div II cross country national championships. The race was in Spokane, WA, which, for the geographically challenged, is a long way from home. Traveling across the continent at any time can be hairy but when you add in the stresses involved in the target race at the end of a long season and it’s safe to say that surprises aren’t exactly welcome.

Man, if only this was about the team running well at nationals. Instead, some colossal pricks actually broke into the van and stole just about all the men’s team’s gear while they were out for a run. It was shocking to hear the news and even now a few days later it still seems a bit surreal. Who could possibly be that evil?

We reached out to Skyhawks coach Karen Boen to get her take on what happened:

It was quite an ordeal and not what we were expecting.  Our wallets, cell phones, bags, warm ups, etc. were taken along with video equipment and some racing shoes. Overall we lost about $5000.00 worth of items and hours of canceling cards and replacing drivers licenses.

The guys had already had a turbulent year dealing with two of our top guys out for the season and then a bronchial infection that hit each of them at different times.  This was just another barrier in our way.  They dealt with it with dignity and did their best to stay focused.  Our athletic and police department worked diligently to get us through security at the airport and we made it home with a memory we would have traded for a better race.

We won both conference and regional championships but just ran out of gas at nationals. This event certainly didn’t help but we will go back to work and put it all behind us.

After what sounded like quite the rough year, the team still cleaned up at conference and regionals. There was just one more test waiting for them on the big stage. Despite the theft and the frustration that came with it, Karen had those men ready to roll. From a recap on the Stonehill website:

Senior Scott Waller (Andover, Mass./Andover) was the first Stonehill student-athlete to complete today’s ten kilometer course, placing 96th overall in 32:12.10. Waller was able to top both of his finishes in past NCAA Championships, as he placed 141st as a sophomore in 2011 and 124th as a freshman in 2010.

Unfortunately it wasn’t their day, and they finished in 28th place out of 32 teams. That was a few spots lower than their pre-race ranking, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. They showed their grit and tenacity and finished what they started.

With so many local teams and runners competing at nationals across all three divisions, we’d love to be able to just focus on the positive and provide updates on performances. It’s hard to not share like this, a story that show an already tried team that was further tested and didn’t wilt in the face of unexpected, awful circumstance at a pretty terrible time.

Not to be overlooked, but the Stonehill women’s team was in Spokane, too (and also ranked 20th going in). Their top runner proved to be one of the best in the country (from the Stonehill website):

Senior captain Chelsea Bishop (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) became the fifth All-American in program history, as she finished 36th overall and first among the seven Stonehill participants in 21:47.3. Bishop has competed in six races this season, and each time she has been Stonehill’s top finisher.

The Skyhawk women finished 25th out of the 32 teams. Having an All-American finisher sure helped to put a bright spot on a trip that had been tainted by the unfortunate circumstances. No doubt that Karen Boen, the 2013 Northeast-10 and East Region Coach of the Year, will have her runners ready to go for indoor and beyond.


NCAA DI Nationals Preview

Some helpful info to help you get ready for tomorrow’s XC races.

It’s all come down to this. Saturday November 23rd (tomorrow!), the NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championship will be held in Terre Haute, IN. Thirty-one teams. Thirty-eight individuals. The best of the best. The men start things off with their race at noon ET, and then the ladies cap their seasons off with their race at 1:15 pm.

There were a lot of runners with local ties that did quite well in both the DI and DIII regionals that were two weeks ago. From a nice write up on milesplit.com:

Columbia University senior Jacob Sienko, a onetime standout from Bishop Hendricken, finished sixth overall in the 10-kilometer race with a time of 30 minutes, 24.30 seconds. Less than five-seconds behind Sienko was his former teammate at Hendricken, Providence College junior Brian Doyle, who was timed in 30:29 for 12th overall.

The Friars, who were fourth as a team, had two other ex-high school all-staters finish strong. Recent Cumberland High grad Trevor Crawley, a freshman, was 70th overall with a 31:49.8 clocking. Smithfield’s Liam Hillary was 87th at 32:07.20.

Getting down to it, here’s who’s going from the northeast region:

The Men

Princeton (automatic)

Kevin Dooney, Yale
Kelton Cullenberg, Maine
Wesley Gallagher, Northeastern
Craig Hunt, Central Connecticut

The Women

Dartmouth (automatic)
Providence (automatic)

Waverly Neer, Columbia
Kate Avery, Iona
Liv Westphal, Boston College
Silvia Del Fava, Albany

Automatic teams were the top two from each of the nine regions. The remaining thirteen were selected at-large. The individuals were also selected on an automatic and at-large basis, based on finishes at regionals. Found out more here.

The countdown is on! Plenty for us to follow here. Can the PC women cap off their impressive season with a championship? Will Abbey D’Agostino finally get that elusive cross title? We’ll find out.

And on a disgusting note, it appears that the entire Stonehill men’s team had their bags stolen out at DII nationals.


That is some bad karma for whoever pulled off that d-bag stunt, to say the least. We hope that the boys crush it out there. Nobody should have to put up with that crap while trying to focus on a race of this magnitude.

Stonehill Dominates East Regionals

Stonehill captured both the men’s and women’s titles at the NCAA DII East Region Championships on November 10th at Franklin Park. Here are some quick bits on the day’s races:

The Women

For Stonehill it was just a repeat of past years. The Skyhawks claimed their 5th straight regional title. Led by senior Chelsea Bishop, they out-scored second place Bentley by a 57-105 margin. The fact that they pulled it off despite Bentley taking the top two spots just shows how impressive their depth is. Junior harrier Tara Dooley won it overall and her senior teammate Amy Varsell was right behind her, with the ladies running 21:19 and 21:56, respectively. Bishop was 4th overall.

From a good write up on the Skyhawks website:

Head coach Karen Boen, an 11-time Northeast-10 Women’s Coach of the Year, attributed Stonehill’s success today to her squad’s team-first attitude. “Every year is a different dynamic, a different group of kids. There’s something to be said for kids that are willing to run for a team, not just to run for an individual title, and I think that’s what our women do”, Boen said. “Chelsea Bishop said to me one year that she’s never nervous on the line because there’s such a tough group of women standing beside her, and she knows someone will get it done on that day.” 

The teams that made it to nationals out of the east are:


And the individuals are:

Betsy Eickelberg, Adelphi - 3rd in 22:37
Alexandra Stasiuk, American International - 5th in 22:48
Chloe Boutelle, Saint Michael’s - 7th in 22:12

Lastly, here’s some video courtesy of the Adelphi University Panthers XC/Track:

The Men

Although it was only the first regional title for the Stonehill men since ’07, it’s not as if they were wallowing in futility all this time. With the win, they secured their 11th straight national championships appearance. That’s pretty damn impressive.

From a good write up on the Skyhawks website:

Sophomore Robert Massey (Chelmsford, Mass./Chelmsford) led the way for Stonehill today, as he placed eighth overall. Massey was the first Skyhawk to complete the ten kilometer course, doing so in 32:04.8. Senior Stephen Leonard (Chatham, N.J./Chatham), who was Stonehill’s top finisher two weekends ago at the Northeast-10 Championship, placed ninth overall today, clocking in at 32:07. Massey and Leonard were the lone Skyhawks to earn top-10 finishes in today’s meet.

The teams that made it to nationals out of the east are:

Franklin Pierce
Wilmington (Del.)

And the individuals are:

Mike Biwott, American International - 1st in 30:30
Nicholas Filippazzo, Adelphi - 2nd in 31:17
John Chirchir, American International - 3rd in 31:22
Asher Brandt, Southern Connecticut State - 4th in 31:41
Anthony Fiermonte, Assumption - 5th in 31:43

Finally, here’s some more video courtesy of the Adelphi University Panthers XC/Track:

We’d be remiss to not mention how the Adelphi squads did. The men’s and women’s teams both finished 5th with 134 points and 177 points, respectively. As you read above both teams are sending an individual to the big meet. And they did a great job of getting video. Keep up the good work, guys.

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