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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Cross country hopes to cross into mid-season form early

Schedules, scores and statistics are provided by beaconsathletics.com, see website for more information.

 

Cross Country’s countdown has officially run out! The Beacons’ season is now underway after their meet this past weekend in North Dartmouth, Mass., which opened the book to a new chapter that will detail the Fall 2023 season. The long, hot summer months allowed the Beacons to get up to speed in preparation for the upcoming campaign, the UMass Dartmouth Invitational being the starting point for their soon-to-be action-packed season. 

Looking back on last year, both teams hope to reignite the sparks they created, not only from cross country’s installment in Fall 2022, but the track and field portions in Winter and Spring 2023 as well. Both rosters have the firepower to turn this program into something spectacular, with returning second and third-year athletes headlining the star-studded packs. 

Many of men’s and women’s cross country’s top performers took the courses by storm last year as first year players. Standouts like Rob Cannon, Ariyanna Garceau, Jacqueline Earner and Harleen Bassan are returning for their sophomore seasons, with the finish line of making it big in sight. This group of talented individuals is hoping to tally some top finishes and substantial point totals for the Beacons in the coming weeks, and hope to not have to fend off any signs of a sophomore slump.

Seasoned veterans entering their junior and senior years are taking strides to create a well-rounded group of athletes that can balance out both rosters. Rachel Green and Charlotte Millette are entering their senior years for women’s cross country, both of whom are capable of stepping into leadership roles and guide the prodigies that make up women’s cross country (1). The same can be said for third year player Zeph Alvarado, and seniors Chris Druding and Sami Mezrouh (2). Every runner will be bringing an abundance of qualities to the table that can ultimately help the Beacons leapfrog to the top of the Little East Conference, but execution is everything when it comes to building off of past success. However, given how some days transpired last year, there’s a lot of adversity for both programs coming into 2023. 

One of the biggest problems UMass Boston’s cross country teams faced were their lack of team success despite a pool of flourishing young talent. Dating back to the beginning of last season, men and women’s cross country never finished above the bottom half percentile. Men’s cross country’s best finish came when they hopped into 10th place out of the 18 teams competing at the Keene State Invitational on Oct. 1, 2022; women’s cross country’s best ranking was when they took home fourth place among the six teams at the 10th annual Bruce Kirsh Cross County Cup on Oct. 15, 2022 (1,2).

Regardless of the underwhelming team finishes, both cross country teams have bright futures ahead of them. The core group made up of Garceau, Cannon, Earner and Bassan can all create a tidal wave of success not only by logging personal bests this season, but by building and molding a dynamic of pushing players to their highest potential. 

Cannon was in the spotlight for a vast majority of his sensational freshman campaign, winning the LEC’s coveted “Rookie of the Week” honors five times in a row. Earner accomplished a similar feat after she earned both LEC’s runner and Rookie of the Week honors during the final week of last year’s regular season (3). Both she and Garceau are coming off of an unforgettable track and field season as well (4). If all goes according to plan, and players pick up where they left off and perform up to their standards, both men’s and women’s cross country will be in good hands and can run off into the sunset with another successful season in the books.

 

  1. A Day of Personal Bests for Men’s Cross Country at Keene State Invitational – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  2.  Women’s Cross Country Places Fourth At Final Regular Season Meet – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  3. Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Sweeps Little East Conference Weekly Awards – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  4. Jacqueline Earner Wins Women’s 800 Meter Run, Headlines LEC Championships at UMass Dartmouth for Track and Field – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor