RIVERDALE, NY – The State University of New York, Buffalo cross country teams concluded their 2014 seasons Friday at the NCAA Northeast Region Championships at Van Cortlandt Park.
The UB men's team ran to a 14th-place finish out of 39 teams, its finest showing since a program-best seventh-place finish in 2011 and a nine-place improvement from a season ago. Competing on a 10-kilometer course for the first time this season, the Bulls were led by sophomores Barrett Kemp and Alec Peinkofer.
The Bulls' women's squad matched its 2013 performance, placing 19th out of 40 teams. Sophomores also paced the way for the women's team with Corinne Birchard again leading the way on the 6K course.
"For both groups, nearly all runners return next year," said director and head coach Vicki Mitchell. "Expectations are already being set high.
"The women just need to get out better. They crushed the second half of the race. Midway they were 22nd and moved to 10th. The men had the best team finish since 2011. Barrett Kemp had a fantastic race, leading the men."
Kemp clocked a 31:26.03 10K to place 47th out of 262 runners on the cool and breezy day. Peinkofer was the second Bull to cross the finish line in 31:38.65 good for 61st place, while junior Cameron Bruce followed in 83rd with a 31:56.45 finish.
Freshmen Tom Meehan and Andrew Berge were the Bulls' final two to score. Meehan was 103rd and Berge 109th with times of 32:16.29 and 32:21.46, respectively. Junior Brian Crimmins and rookie Justin Van Epps rounded out UB's top seven. Crimmins ran on the heels of Berge to place 110th in 32:22.24, while Van Epps secured a 127th-place finish of 32:38.16.
Birchard led the Bulls with a 98th-place time of 22:03.24 out of a field of 275 runners. Sophomores Melinda Wheeler and Amy Shaw followed in 111th and 119th with Wheeler clocking a time of 22:14.35 and Shaw racing to a time of 22:20.70. Sophomore Meagan Hopkins and seniors Gabby Leo and Maggie Russell finished consecutively in 137th, 138th and 139th. Hopkins clocked in at 22:39.95, Leo at 22:41.39 and Russell at 22:42.88. Senior Chrissy Clarkin was the Bulls' seventh runner in 186th place with a time of 23:14.36.
The UB men tallied 403 points, while the women recorded 600. Syracuse edged out Providence by three points to win the men's race, while host Iona dominated the field to claim top honors in the women's race.