HOPKINTON, N.H. – For the second straight season, and the third time since 2012, the Bentley University men's cross country team is headed for the NCAA Division II Championships. This year's event will be held Nov. 19 in Saint Leo, Fla.
Coach Kevin Curtin's team punched its ticket by placing third in the NCAA Division II East Regional Saturday morning at Hopkinton State Fairgrounds. American International captured the East with a score of 49, Stonehill College took second with an 80, and Bentley's 98 secured the final qualifying slot for the Falcons. Franklin Pierce University, the host team, was the highest finisher among the non-qualifiers with a 136. A total of 23 teams scored.
Bentley junior Graham Chapski (East Greenwich, R.I./East Greenwich HS) continued his outstanding fall for the Falcons as he placed ninth overall with a 32:02.6 over the 10,000-meter course. That was an improvement of 19 places and 35 seconds from his performance a year ago.
Also cracking the top 25 for the Falcons were senior Nik Haas (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey HS) and sophomore Cody Murphy (Dunbarton, N.H./Goffstown HS). Haas was the 15th man to cross the finish line, and Murphy was 21st in 32:19.5.
Junior Seamus Higgins (Randolph, N.J./Randolph HS) and senior Erik Alatalo (Wilmington, Mass./Wilmington HS) also scored for Bentley. Higgins' 32:33.0 put him 26th and Alatalo was two places behind him in 32:39.4.
AIC's Leakey Kipkosgei took individual honors by 13.4 seconds over Nacho Hernandez of Southern New Hampshire, finishing in 31:05.3.