Westfield, Mass.—Reigning MASCAC Men's Cross Country Champion Fitchburg State has been picked to claim the 2016 Championship as voted on by the seven coaches from around the conference.
The Falcons grabbed five of the seven first place votes for 35 points. Last season Fitchburg State finished with 24 points to win their first conference title since 2008. The team had five runners in the top 10 to earn All-Conference accolades, including Anthony Darrigo the MASCAC Rookie of the Year who crossed the line in sixth.
Finishing in second with 31 points and a first place vote is Westfield State. The Owls were second at the 2015 meet with 41 points. Mike Skelly finishing first overall to earn MASCAC Men's Runner of the Year accolades.
Earning the final first place vote and 27 points is Bridgewater State. The Bears were third in last year's meet. Justin Lucier was the top finisher for Bridgewater State with an eighth place finish to earn All-Conference honors.
Sharing the fourth spot with 18 points are Massachusetts Maritime and Worcester State. The Buccaneers finished fourth at the 2015 meet. Jake MacVarish earned All-Conference honors after a seventh place finish. For the Lancers, they were fifth overall last year with Michael Ricci as their top finisher in 15th place.
Rounding out the preseason poll are MCLA and Framingham State in sixth and seventh with 10 and eight points, respectively. The Trailblazers were sixth at the meet last year. Christopher Gamble was the first to cross the line for the squad last year in 17th. The Rams finished seventh last season. Dan Stevens was the top finisher for the team with a 46th place finish.
The MASCAC cross country season begins on September 3 when six of the seven MASCAC schools start their quest towards the MASCAC Championship.
2016 MASCAC Men's Cross Country
Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)
1. Fitchburg State (5) 35 points
2. Westfield State (1) 31 points
3. Bridgewater State (1) 27 points
4. Massachusetts Maritime18 points
Worcester State 18 points
6. MCLA 10 points
7. Framingham State 8 points