MEDFORD – Tufts Men's Cross Country will participate in the NCAA New England Regional Championship at Bowdoin College starting at 12 noon on Saturday.
If the Jumbos can finish in the top two overall as a team, they will earn an automatic bid to Nationals next week. Otherwise, they will look for a high finish in order to receive an at-large berth which will be announced later in the weekend. Additionally, the top seven runners on teams that don't qualify will advance to NCAA's. The last time the Jumbos had runners compete in Nationals was in 2016 when Tim Nichols and Luke O'Connor qualified individually. The Jumbos last qualified as a team in 2015.
Last season, the Jumbos finished eighth in this race. Senior tri-catain Colin Raposo ended in 35th place with a time of 26:13.8 across the eight-kilometer course. Two years ago, the team placed fifth overall and the brown and blue were third in 2015.
The Jumbos will look to their veteran leadership as they have seniors Raposo, Brian Reaney, Dylan Jones, Andrew Doherty Munro, Rory Buckman and Hiroto Watanabe along with sophomore Peter Horvath comprising their line-up.
Raposo earned All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) second team honors with his 14th-place finish at the conference championship, which Tufts hosted at Franklin Park in Boston on October 27. The senior tri-captain started the season with a fifth overall mark at the Pineland XC Shootout. He followed that up by finishing third on the team and 46th at the Purple Valley Classic. Raposo picked up momentum with his 13th-place mark at the Connecticut College Invitational.
Senior tri-captain Reaney started his year off finishing 41st overall and second on the team at the Purple Valley Classic. He followed that performance up by being the first Jumbo to place at the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh which featured teams from all three divisions. Reaney had his best finish at the NESCAC Championship when he was 24th overall and second on the team. Jones, the other senior tri-captain, started the season by finishing first at the Pineland XC Shootout. He competed a week later and placed as the top Jumbo again when he was 33rd overall at the Purple Valley Classic. At Lehigh's Paul Short Run he was the second Jumbo to cross the finish line. Jones had another top 25 finish at the Connecticut College Invitational where he was second on the team.
Munro placed 13th overall at the Pineland XC Shootout to start the year. The senior also competed at the Paul Short Run finishing the day as the sixth Jumbo to cross the finish line. He was 26th overall at the Connecticut College Invitational to gain momentum heading into the NESCAC Championship. Munro placed third on the team and 37th amongst the field in the conference race, which was among the Jumbos' scoring five. Buckman began the season by placing in the top 10 overall at the Pineland XC Shootout which was good for third on the team. At the Purple Valley Classic, the senior finished sixth on the roster. He was the fifth Jumbo to place at the Paul Short Run. Buckman came in 33rd at the Connecticut College Invitational. In the NESCAC Championship, he placed 38th overall and also scored for Tufts.
Watanabe started the 2018 campaign off with a top 10 finish at the Pineland XC Shootout. He placed third amongst the Jumbos at the Paul Short Run event. The senior ended 41st overall in the Connecticut College Invitational which was fifth on the team. He also competed at the NESCAC Championship. Horvath is the one underclassman who will compete for the Jumbos on Saturday. The sophomore ran at the Pineland XC Shootout and was 20th overall. He followed that up with a 54th-place finish in the Purple Valley Classic which was the fourth-best mark on the roster. Horvath placed 65th to round out the Jumbos' top seven runners at the Connecticut College Invitational. At the NESCAC Championship, he was the fifth Jumbo to finish as he was 46th overall.
Tufts started the 2018 season off with a win at the Pineland XC Shootout in Gloucester, Maine. They followed up that performance with a seventh-place finish at the Purple Valley Classic a week later. Other finishes by the Jumbos include third at the All-New England Championships (sub-varsity), fourth place at the Connecticut College Invitational and a seventh-place finish at the NESCAC Championship.
The NCAA Division III Nationals will be held in Oshkosh, Wis. on November 17.
Host Bowdoin College and Northeast Sports Network are producing a webcast of the NCAA Regional at https://www.nsnsports.net/colleges/bowdoin-college/.
Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello