Updated: Nov 8, 2019
Men's Preview by Quenten Lasseter
Women's Preview by Grace McLaughlin
American International is on the hunt to claim the East regional title after conference rival Stonehill claimed the throne last year.
So far this season, the plague of graduation has hit Stonehill, losing four seniors that were notably four of their five scorers from last year. We saw this realization at the Northeast-10 Conference Championships as American International easily defeated Stonehill by 40 points.
The American International Yellow Jackets were led by Ezra Mutai and Benoit Campion going 1-2 overall, along with their three other scorers finishing in the top 20.
Stonehill has a lot of work to do if they want to repeat as regional champions. With the loss of various seniors and only having one senior currently on the roster, they will need to depend on close pack-running if they want a chance to defeat American International. Both teams are very talented, and it will be another two-team battle this weekend.
Also joining the conversation is Southern Connecticut State. They were 3rd at the Northeast-10 Championships behind a 5th place finish from Connor Shannahan. Along with Jake Mattei, they have two strong low-stick runners who are capable of putting their team in a top five position.
Terrell Patterson was their top finisher at the Paul Short Invite (Brown race) when they took 2nd overall as a team. If he comes back, the chances for the Owls only improve. This would give them a top three that is arguably stronger than both of the teams that beat them at their conference meet.
The individual side of things will likely run through American International teammates Ezra Mutai and Benoit Campion. These two have proven to be the favorites after dominating the Northeast-10 Championships.
All eyes will be on Le Moyne’s Chris Davitt as he is one of the more interesting factors in this race. At last year's East regional meet, Davitt finished 3rd overall behind two seniors who will no longer be present this weekend.
Although on paper Davitt is projected to win the individual crown in regards to top returners, he was defeated by both Mutai and Campion at their conference meet. We'll see a repeat matchup this weekend to see who takes the individual regional title this time around.
If the aforementioned Patterson returns, he will surely stick his nose into the mix of things as well. He could be joined Redhawk senior Christopher Sims in the top five who has quietly put together a very nice season so far in 2019.
1. American International
3. Southern Connecticut State
5. Roberts Wesleyan
1. Chris Davitt (Le Moyne)
2. Terrell Patterson (So. Conn. St.)
3. Ezra Mutai (American Int’l)
4. Benoit Campion (American Int’l)
5. Christopher Sims (Roberts Wesleyan)
6. Noah Simatei (NYIT)
7. Macgregor Cox (American Int’l)
8. Jake Mattei (So. Conn. St.)
9. Micah Hewitson (SNHU)
10. Josiah Ottolini (Roberts Wesleyan)
The East region is headlined by Roberts Wesleyan, who should easily take home the crown. The Redhawks started their season off with a win at the Hamilton College Short Course, then another win at the Harry F. Anderson Invitational, a 26th place at the Louisville Classic, a 3rd place result at the Canisius Alumni Classic, and then a win at the East Coast Conference Championships.
They had six runners in the top 10 (as well as the individual champion) to dominate the field at their conference meet. Leading the team is Brittany Shumway, Michaela Bierly, Ashley Watson, Bailey Gostomski, and Abigail Gostomski.
Three team wins (which includes a conference title), should give the Redhawks some major confidence entering this weekend.
Next up is Stonehill. They won the Northeast-10 Conference Championships by putting four runners in the top 10 with Samantha Curtin, Jillian Howard, Siobhan O’Keefe, and Jordan Callahan.
Stonehill started their season with a 3rd pace finish at the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Invitational, a runner-up performance at the Kutztown Division II/III Challenge, a 41st at the Paul Short Gold race (which was loaded with respectable D1 programs), and an 8th place finish at the NEICAAA Cross Country Championships.
Their Paul Short result was truthfully far from ideal, but Stonehill has made improvements throughout the season in their smaller meets. Their #5 scoring spot will need to be improved, but that shouldn't hold them back too much this weekend.
Behind Stonehill at the NEICAAA Championships was Southern New Hampshire in 14th. I'm predicting them to be 3rd in the East Region after their runner-up finish at the Northeast-10 Conference Championships and a win at the Shacklette XC Invitational earlier in the season. This smaller field should benefit SNHU.
On the individual side of things, it seems like Brittany Shumway of Roberts Wesleyan should take home the individual title after her win at the East Coast Conference Championships. Shumway’s teammates of Michaela Bierly, Ashley Watson, Bailey Gostomski, and Abigail Gostomski should join her in the top 10.
Kialeigh Marston of Assumption won the Northeast-10 individual title and could make things interesting behind Shumway. Ashley Corcoran of Southern New Hampshire finished just behind Marston and should be in the top five if all right.
Behind Roberts Wesleyan and Brittany Shumway, this race could go several different ways. Multiple teams will try to fight their way to Nationals, as well as individuals fighting for a handful of top finishes.
1. Roberts Wesleyan
3. Southern New Hampshire
4. Saint Anselm
1. Brittany Shumway (Roberts Wesleyan)
2. Kialeigh Marston (Assumption)
3. Samantha Curtin (Stonehill)
4. Ashley Corcoran (Southern New Hampshire)
5. Michaela Bierly (Roberts Wesleyan)
6. Abagaile Kimbrell (St. Thomas Aquinas)
7. Ashley Watson (Roberts Wesleyan)
8. Bailey Gostomski (Roberts Wesleyan)
9. Abigail Gostomski (Roberts Wesleyan)
10. Jillian Howard (Stonehill)