Westfield, Mass.— Fitchburg State, the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference meet champion, has been selected by the seven coaches from around the conference as the preseason favorite to win this year's cross country title.
The Falcons grabbed three of the first place votes for 33 points. At last year's championship, Brian Amaral was the top overall finisher to earn MASCAC Runner of the Year honors. Joining Amaral on the All-Conference team were teammates Jake Hastings in third, Anthony Darrigo in fourth and Joseph Darrigo in eighth.
Grabbing the second spot with three first place votes for 31 points is Bridgewater State. The Bears were second at last year's meet with 34 points. Gilley Kabamba earned the Rookie of the Year accolade after finishing as the top overall rookie in 10th. Trevor Wysong was the top finisher for the Bears in second while Justin Lucier and Mike Hutchinson crossed the line in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Westfield State is next in third with 29 points. As a team, the Owls finished third last year with 84 points. Tim Forrest crossed the line in seventh place while Patrick Brett was ninth for All-Conference honors.
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 in 13th place overall.
Tied for fifth are Framingham State and Massachusetts Maritime with 12 points. The Rams were seventh at last year's meet with Brett Cumming crossing the line first for the team in 53rd place. The Buccaneers were fifth at the 2017 championship. Daniel Plumb was their team's top finisher in 25th place.
Rounding out this year's preseason poll is MCLA in seventh. The Trailblazers were sixth at last season's meet. Finishing as the top overall runner for the squad was Jeremiah Jones who crossed the line in 20th place.
Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Framingham State and MCLA begin their MASCAC cross country on September 1 while MCLA, Massachusetts Maritime and Westfield State start on September 8.
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.
2018 MASCAC Men's Cross Country
Preseason Coaches Poll
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)
1. Fitchburg State (3) 33 points
2. Bridgewater State (3) 31 points
3. Westfield State (1) 29 points
4. Worcester State 21 points
5. Framingham State 12 points
Massachusetts Maritime 12 points
7. MCLA 9 points