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The Mass Media

Cross Country athletes get feet warmed up for upcoming winter track season

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

The Beacons ran amuck in the Little East Conference this past fall, and with the cross country season now come and gone, runners of both men’s and women’s track and field look to boost their track records, which stem from their performances over the past couple of months. Men’s and women’s cross country had seasons filled with many highs for the programs’ most prolific runners, some of whom took home trophies for not only being key contributors for their respective programs, but also as top finishers in the Little East Conference. 

UMass Boston Women’s Cross Country took home some of the coveted accolades the LEC had to offer, with individual awards handed to both Grace Colon and Jacqueline Earner. Both Earner and Colon collected All-LEC second team honors, as both runners earned their accomplishments through their respective finishes in the most pivotal meets of the season. Some of their best performances came in the LEC championship, where women’s cross country runners finished a five-kilometer race to determine who the best runners in the LEC were, not to mention the top program in the LEC. 

According to 802timing.com, women’s cross country finished with an underwhelming cumulative place of 139, which ranked them sixth overall out of the seven teams that suited a full team—ten teams participated overall, but only seven teams were given rankings, given the number of runners that dressed for each program. Nonetheless, Colon and Earner made their mark in the race, finishing back-to-back; Colon got 11th place, completing the race in 20 minutes and 5.9 seconds, while Earner came in 12th, crossing the finish line exactly 15 seconds later for a time of 20 minutes and 20.9 seconds. 

Sarah Campbell, Angelina Mizzone and Ariyanna Garceau rounded out the Beacons’ cumulative score for the day. Campbell placed 32nd with a time of 22:11.0, Mizzone crossed in 24:52.6—good for 41st place, and Garceau finished 11 seconds later to nab 43rd place with an official time of 25:03.7, respectively. (1)

UMass Boston Men’s Cross Country participated in the LEC championship the same day, in an eight-kilometer race to crown the winner of the LEC tournament through cumulative finishes. Unfortunately for the men’s program, they came up short in the race and finished last out of the eight ranked teams, though they still had valiant efforts in their runs. 

It was reported by 802timing.com that Rob Cannon finished first overall for the Beacons, maintaining his pace as a top runner for men’s cross country; Cannon took home 28th place, finishing in 28 minutes, 18 seconds. Zeph Alvarado grabbed 41st place for the Beacons, crossing in 30:37.2, while Isaiah Stessman, Melvin Wiltshire and Elmani Debarros followed behind, taking hold of 44th, 49th and 51st place with respective times of 31:46.0, 34:44.2 and 39:33.6. (2) 

The LEC championship was soon followed by another monumental meet, this time being the NCAA Division III East Regionals. According to the Track and Field Results Reporting System website, (3) Men’s cross country was unable to improve on their performance from the LEC Championship, and the Beacons ranked 31st overall among the 34 teams that partook in the match. Cannon was once again the top finisher for the Beacons, though he couldn’t grab a top-100 spot in the 8K, coming in 130th and finishing 14 seconds slower than his LEC championship run at 28:32.4. Alvarado gave it his all and got 165th place, finishing a hair under a six-minute mile pace at 5:59.7, crossing in 29:48.2. Stessman got 188th place in 31:27.5, while Hugo Dos Santos and Debarros nabbed back-to-back spots at 220 and 221 with times of 38:17.4 and 38:55.5. Wiltshire was the final runner to run across the finish line for the Beacons after 43:01.8 passed from the start of the race, giving the team a cumulative score of 897 for their 31st place finish.

The Track and Field Results Reporting System relayed the statistics of women’s cross country’s day at the NCAA Division III East Regionals as well. Women’s cross country was feeling 22 that day, as the Beacons nabbed 22nd place among the 34 teams in their competition, a slight improvement from their previous bout in the LEC championship, their finish being in the 64th percentile among all programs running. Colon and Earner once again headlined the finishes for the Beacons, this time in a 6K race; Colon finished 85th in after 24 minutes, 21.7 seconds, while Earner trailed her and came in 88th, crossing exactly seven seconds later.

Campbell finished a little over a minute later at 25:47.1, giving her 124th place. Mizzone was the next Beacon to finish at 161st place, crossing in 27:57.5, and Garceau took 181st with a time of 29 minutes, 21 seconds. Charlotte Millette was the final Beacon to cross the finish line, and though she just missed the top-200 mark, she crossed the finish line in 201st after 31:15.1, finishing the Beacons’ day on a high note as they admirably performed better on the biggest stage the team would reach in their cross country season. The team garnered 626 cumulative points, and each member’s individual performances contributed toward their end goal of a better finish. (3)

Heading into the winter and spring track and field seasons, the Beacons should have high hopes. The fall didn’t produce the results they had hoped for, but it certainly is not something to mull over, nor do the programs have to go back to the old drawing board. There were still some positives that came from the cross country season, most notably the accomplishments under Colon and Earner’s names. Both teams have a highly touted pool of young talent that will inevitably improve their run game, and there’s no better way to start that journey than when the seasons change this coming year. 


  1. 2023 LEC Cross-Country Run Championship (802timing.com)
  2. 2023 LEC Cross-Country Run Championship (802timing.com)
  3. TFRRS | NCAA Division III East Region Cross Country Championships – Meet Results


About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor