Johnson, Vt. – The Colby-Sawyer Chargers claimed the 2016 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men's Cross Country Championship on Saturday, October 29. Grandon Smith of Castleton University was the men's individual champion as he completed the course in 26:22.4
The Chargers earned first place after scoring 25 points with five runners in the top eight. The 8k championship race included 101 total runners, representing 11 schools.
The men's runner-up was UMaine-Farmington, as the Beavers turned in an 87, while Castleton University was third (88), Thomas was fourth (128), followed by Maine Maritime (141), Husson (150), Lyndon (161) UMaine-Presque Isle (178), New England College (193), Johnson State (312) and Green Mountain (333).
Smith completed the course seven seconds ahead of his nearest competitor, as Peter Bakker of Colby-Sawyer finished second in a time of 26:29.3. Scott Shaw of New England College was third in 26:58.2, while UMaine-Farmington's Robbie Hollis placed fourth with a time of 26:59.8. Brandon Legendre of Colby-Sawyer finished fifth with a time of 27:12.6, followed by Ayan Cole of Lyndon in sixth in 27:23.4 and Kody Frye and Ben Jones of Colby-Sawyer finished seventh and eighth respectively in times of 27:24.9 and 27:27.3.
Thomas' Jarrod Ottman was ninth in 28:02.3 and was followed by UMaine Farmington's Connor Wagner who completed the course in 28:07.5 and Abdi Hassan in 28:15.5. Sully Jackson of UMaine Presque Isle placed 12th in 28:16.8. Travis Yandow, Bruin Smith and Liam Fleming of Colby-Saywer finished 13th, 14th and 15th with times of 28:17.5, 28:19.3 and 28:32.1 followed by Korey Hunt of New England College in 28:39.2.
Husson's Andrew Balsamo was 16th, the highest finish by an Eagle runner in the NAC Championship in program history with a 28:49, followed by Josh Wheeler in 29:47 good for 29th, Nick Young finished 36th in 30:40, Derek Hawes completed the course in 30:40 and David Furtado rounded out the scoring for the Eagles in 43rd with a time of 30:57.
Other Eagles who ran on the day were Spencer Canham in 48th with a 31:26, Francesco Wright placed 49th in 31:28, followed by Caleb Marsh in 50th in 31:33, Lucas Kinney finished 54th in 32:19, Patrick Welch ran a 32:24 good for 55th, Patrick Orcutt placed 65th with a 33:51, while Adam Hitchcock completed the course in 35:57 for a 79th placed finish.
The Eagles will return to action on Saturday, November 5th at the 2016 ECAC Championship at Hudson Valley Sports Dome in Milton, N.Y.