UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s and Women’s cross country are running into Fall 2023 with high hopes

Cross Country graphic of athletes: Jimmy Cannon, Jacqueline Earner and Rob Cannon. Photo by Michael Vesci, courtesy of Beacons Athletics.

At this rate, the summer ran away from many, but with the Fall 2023 Semester beginning, UMass Boston’s men’s and women’s cross country have been getting set on making a mark in this year’s fall installation of track and field. With an abundance of players returning from last year—a lot of whom performed exceptionally well in their first year as collegiate athletes—the nitty gritty of this situation is that this group of talent has the capabilities to blossom the program into something special.

Despite the departure of a few key contributors for this upcoming season, both men’s and women’s cross country are riding high with the momentum they garnered last year. Arguably the biggest blow to their core is the loss of one of UMass Boston’s most recent alums, Jimmy Cannon. 

Cannon was a perennial top-10 finisher last year in all three phases of track and field, including a ninth place finish at the Rothenburg Cross Country Run Oct. 21, 2022. (1) He also came in third place at Franklin Pierce University’s 10th annual Bruce Kirsh Cross Country Cup the week prior. Both races were subsequently followed by Little East Conference Runner of the Week awards. (2) This season may be tough to bridge the gap between Cannon’s valiant efforts and a now-gaping hole for a top runner, but his younger brother, Rob Cannon, may be built for the tall task. 

Rob finished his Fall 2022 season with an astonishing five consecutive LEC Rookie of the Week awards, (3) and with his older brother now gone, he could follow in his footsteps and try filling his shoes, as it seems that he may be a great candidate for doing so. Rob’s potential cannot be overshadowed by the performances of some returning, rising upperclassmen though. 

Zeph Alvarado, Christopher Druding and Sami Mezrouh will pick up where they left off and ease the burden of Jimmy leaving. Alvarado, who’s going into his junior year, is looking to become a top runner alongside Rob for the men’s program, while Druding and Mezrouh’s experience at the collegiate level as rising seniors will mentor the squad and help improve the team tenfold. 

With women’s cross country’s season on the horizon as well, some familiar faces from last year’s squad hope to begin Fall 2023 with the momentum they gained last season. Rising second-year runners Jacqueline Earner and Ariyanna Garceau hope to capitalize on their success throughout all three track and field seasons and ignite a spark for this year’s fall installment. 

Earner and Garceau both had first place finishes during both of the 2023 seasons for track and field, (4,5) not to mention some success last fall, too. Earner swept the awards for women’s cross country the week of Oct. 17, earning both Runner of the Week and Rookie of the Week for her efforts. (3) Garceau, as well as her fellow rising sophomore teammates Angelina Mazzone, Harleen Bassan, Sarah Campbell and Charlotte Millette, rounded out the ever-improving group of former first-year runners competing last year. Rising senior Rachel Green also competed last season, and with her fourth year looming, can serve as a friend and mentor while also being a key piece of the team. With an eventful year behind them filled with success in all three track and field seasons, women’s cross country hopes to build upon what they’ve created as a program. 

UMass Boston’s men’s and women’s cross country teams have taken some blows since last season with top runners now in the next phase of life, but the emergence of rising young talent entering the prime of their collegiate careers is prominent. The consistency of Rob Cannon and Jacqueline Earner on the course can only enthrall onlookers this season now that they have had a full offseason to train. And after turning heads in the winter and spring, Earner, Garceau, Cannon, and all their teammates look to capitalize on their success in recent times to help propel them to the finish line that is the NCAA Division III nationals.

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2022/10/24/mens-cross-country-mens-and-womens-cross-country-sweeps-little-east-conference-weekly-awards.aspx
  2. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2022/10/17/cannon-brothers-sweep-little-east-conference-
  3. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2022/10/24/mens-cross-country-mens-and-womens-cross-country-sweeps-little-east-conference-weekly-awards.aspx
  4. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/4/15/womens-track-and-field-aryianna-garceau-wins-womens-100-meter-hurdles-at-penman-relays.aspx
  5. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/4/30/womens-track-and-field-jacqueline-earner-wins-womens-800-meter-run-headlines-lec-championships-at-umass-dartmouth-for-track-and-field.aspx

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor