MASCAC releases Men's Cross Country preseason poll

MASCAC releases Men's Cross Country preseason poll
Westfield, Mass.— For the second straight season, Fitchburg State has been selected by the seven coaches from around the conference as the preseason favorite to win the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country Title.
The Falcons grabbed five of the seven first place votes for 35 points.
 
During the 2016 championship, Jake Hastings crossed the line first to take home MASCAC Runner of the Year as the top overall individual finisher. Teammates Anthony Darrigo, Brian Amaral and Joseph Darrigo finished seventh, ninth and 10th to join Hastings on the All-Conference team. As a team, Fitchburg State finished second with 50 points.
 
Grabbing the final two first place votes for 32 points in second is Westfield State. The Owls claimed the 2016 Meet Championship with 34 total points. Derik Noland was the top finisher for the Owls crossing the line second, followed by Tim Forrest right behind in third while Patrick Brett finished sixth. All three received All-Conference honors as top 10 finishers.
 
Bridgewater State is next in third with 25 points. As a team, the Bears finished third last year with 62 points. Trevor Wysong was the highest finishing rookie to himself MASCAC Rookie of the Year honors and a spot on the All-Conference team.
 
Landing in the fourth spot with 21 points is Worcester State. The Lancers finished fourth as a team last year and were led by Devin Luce who finished eighth for a spot on the All-Conference team.
 
Coming in fifth with 15 points is Massachusetts Maritime. The Buccaneers were fifth in last year's meet. Jake MacVarish was the top finisher, crossing the line in 17th place.
 
Rounding out the preseason poll are Framingham State and MCLA in sixth and seventh with 11 and eight points, respectively. The Rams were sixth at the 2016 meet. Coming in 31st, Dan Stevens was the top runner for Framingham State. The Trailblazers came in seventh last year. Avery Woodbury was the first MCLA runner to cross the finish in 34th place.
 
Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Framingham State and MCLA begin their MASCAC cross country on September 2 while Massachusetts Maritime and Westfield State start on September 9.
The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, the nation's oldest Division III men's and women's playing conference, has a rich and storied tradition of competitive success while celebrating excellence in the classroom. MASCAC member schools include Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, MCLA, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Salem State University, Westfield State University and Worcester State University. Two other institutions, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Plymouth State University, are affiliate members of the conference in the sports of football and men's ice hockey, while Western Connecticut State University joined the conference as an affiliate member in football beginning in 2013.
 
2017 MASCAC Men's Cross Country
Pre-Season Coaches Poll (First Place Votes In Parentheses)
1. Fitchburg State (5) 35 points
2. Westfield State (2) 32 points
3. Bridgewater State 25 points
4. Worcester State 21 points
5. Massachusetts Maritime 15 points
6. Framingham State 11 points
7. MCLA 8 points