HOPKINTON, N.H. – With a complete team effort, the Bentley University men's cross country team qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships for the first time since 2012 with a second place finish in the NCAA East Regional Sunday at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds.
Coach Kevin Curtin's team placed five runners in the top 28 and all seven in the top 38 to register a score of 103, trailing only American International's 45. Stonehill College captured the third qualifying spot, edging host Franklin Pierce University 122-126 in the battle for third. A total of 28 teams participated in the regional.
The NCAA Championships will be contested in Joplin, Mo. on Saturday, Nov. 21.
Bentley's top finishers were a pair of Maine residents, senior Tom Dean (Portland, Maine/ Deering HS) and sophomore Ryan Cadorette (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy). Dean was 16th overall with a 10,000-meter time of 32:10.8 and Cadorette followed his teammate across the line, nine-tenths of a second later.
The top five for the Falcons also included junior Nik Haas (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey HS), freshman Cody Murphy (Dunbarton, N.H./Goffstown HS) and sophomore Graham Chapski (East Greenwich, R.I./ East Greenwich HS). Haas was 20th (32:15.7), Murphy 22nd (32:21.1) and Chapski 28th (32:37.6).
Although they didn't score, Bentley also received solid efforts from sophomore Erik Alatalo (Wilmington, Mass./Wilmington HS) (34th, 32:47.0) and senior David Cooper (Woburn, Mass./ Woburn HS) (38th, 33:01.8). A total of 189 runners competed.
To put Bentley's team performance of seven in the top 38 in perspective, no other team had all seven of its runners in the top 50.
A pair of AIC runners were the first to finish with John Chirchir winning in 30:49.0 and Leakey Kipkosgei taking second in 30:58.0.