WALTHAM, Mass. – With the majority of both teams returning, the Bentley University men's and women's cross country teams both garnered significant respect in the preseason Division II East Region rankings, announced by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The women's team was ranked third, behind Stonehill College and Southern Connecticut State, and the Falcon men were fourth, trailing UMass-Lowell, Stonehill and Southern Connecticut.
First-year coach Kevin Curtin, who took over from retired Ed Lyons midway through the indoor season last winter, inherited a pair of experienced clubs. The men return five of the top six from a team that finished third in the Northeast-10 Championships and fifth in the NCAA East Regional. Six of the top seven women are back from a 2010 team that was fourth in both championship meets.
The returnees for the men's team include a trio of juniors. Curtis Trueb (Eastchester, N.Y./ Eastchester HS) and Rob Dextradeur (Branford, Conn./Branford HS) both earned All-Northeast-10 honors (second and third team, respectively), and Teddy Farley (Acton/Acton-Boxborough HS) was the Falcons' top finisher at the Regional.
Two-time track All-America Amy Varsell (Burlington, Conn./Lewis S. Mills HS), also a junior, and sophomore Ashley Nichols (Kenmore, Wash./Inglemoor HS) top the list of returnees for the women. Varsell was Bentley's number one runner in the NE-10 Championships, placing 11th overall, and Nichols was the first Falcon across the finish line at the NCAA Regional, placing 13th.
Bentley opens the season Sept. 10 in Manchester, N.H. at the Shacklette Invitational.
MEN'S REGIONAL RANKINGS: 1. UMass-Lowell, 2. Stonehill, 3. Southern Connecticut, 4. Bentley, 5. Adelphi, 6. Saint Rose, 7. C.W. Post, 8. American International, 9. Felician, 10. Merrimack.
WOMEN'S REGIONAL RANKINGS: 1. Stonehill, 2. Southern Connecticut, 3. Bentley, 4. UMass-Lowell, 5. Saint Rose, 6. Philadelphia, 7. Merrimack, 8. Southern New Hampshire, 9. Adelphi, 10. Wilmington (Del.)