EDISON, New Jersey – The Quinnipiac men's cross country team was chosen to finish third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. The Bobcats return an impressive 12-of-13 student-athletes from the 2014 squad that shined at the MAAC Championships placing 3rd overall.
The Iona Gaels, owners of the longest active conference championship streak (24) in all of NCAA's Division I sports, was chosen as the Preseason favorite with 121 points and all 11 first place votes. The 2014 MAAC runner-up Canisius (109) was selected in second place in the Preseason Coaches' Poll while Marist (82) and Rider (73) slotted in behind the Bobcats (94) in fourth and fifth place, respectively. The remainder of the poll featured Monmouth (68), Fairfield (53), Siena (51), Manhattan (39), Niagara (23) and Saint Peter's (13).
|Preseason Coaches' Poll|
In their second season in the MAAC in 2014, the Bobcats surprised many with their 3rd place finish at the conference championship meet. Picked to finish 7th in the 2014 MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, Quinnipiac stunned coaches around the league with their all-around strong team effort led by now senior Brendan Copley's (Colchester, Vermont) 14th place result. Now in her seventh year as the head coach at Quinnipiac, Carolyn Martin hopes to build off the success of last season with a young and still improving team.
The loss of a cornerstone performer in Spencer Mannion (Brookfield, Connecticut) to graduation certainly isn't a small one but Coach Martin has the luxury of 12 returners all looking to make an impact in the 2015 season. Headlining that group is Copley, who stands a chance at becoming the first Bobcat in program history to earn four All-Conference selections.
Looking to step into a bigger role in his final season is senior Matt Mensher (Tolland, Connecticut). Having tied for the team-lead with seven appearances in 2014, Mensher has improved in each of his three seasons as a Bobcat. Coming into his junior campaign finishing a career-best second on the team just once, Mensher busted out as the fastest Bobcat in his first two appearances of the season.
Quinnipiac will also rely on the return of graduate student Thomas Dextradeur (Branford, Connecticut) for veteran leadership who came back from an injury plagued 2013 season to tie with Mensher for the team-lead with seven appearances in 2014.
A talented junior class is led by Dylan Fearon (Tenafly, New Jersey) who has appeared in more meets (17) than anyone on the team in the last two seasons. Alex Doherty (Warwick, Rhode Island), Kyle Liang (Norwich, Connecticut) and Kaelan Hayes (Meriden, Connecticut) round out the Bobcats' juniors for the upcoming season.
Hoping to build off a successful first season with the team, sophomore Drew Reda (Holmdel, New Jersey) was the strongest of the team's freshmen competitors and quickly established himself as a threat in the conference and region. Reda finished no worse than fourth on the team in six-of-seven appearances and he shined at the Paul Short Run placing 22nd overall (2nd on the team). Four more freshmen return including Reed Kramer (Moorestown, New Jersey), Tyler Mannion (Brookfield, Connecticut), Connor McAlary (Shoreham, New York) and Sal Siciliano (Avon, Connecticut).
Coach Martin will also have a pair of freshmen that will join the 2015 roster including Ryan Ansel (Danbury, Connecticut) and Ben Lanza (Middletown, Connecticut).
The Bobcats will see their first glimpse of action on Saturday, September 5 as they return for an annual trip to the Stony Brook Invitational.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com