Success hasn’t been hard to come by for the USM men’s cross country team this year. And this showed in Saturday’s Division III New England Regional Championship as they placed a respectable 13th out of the 49 teams at the meet that was hosted by Williams College at Mt. Greylock High School in Williamstown, Mass.
Junior captain John Vallo (Beacon, N.Y.) was the Huskies’ first finisher with a time of 26:42.5 as he finished 36 out of the 337 runners. Vallo just missed getting awarded as there were only thirty five All-New England honors given out.
MIT won the meet, edging out host school Williams with a sixth place finish by Paul Welle with a time of 25:57 and two other top 12 finishes. MIT finished with 93 total points and Williams turned in a team score of 101.
Brothers, junior Eric Neuts and sophomore Seth Neuts, both of Portland, were the second and third runners to cross the finish line for USM coming in at 58th and 89th. Eric Neuts crossed the finish line juts over the 27 minute mark, posting a 27:06 time while his brother navigated the eight kilometer course in 27:44.
Junior captain Tim Even (Stoneham) was USM’s fourth runner to finish as he came in 95th with a time of 27:49. Vallo, the Neuts brothers and Even all finished in the top third of the field at the meet.
The underclassmen success that has been exhibited by the 2010 men’s cross country team was on display at the NCAA regional championship — the last meet for the Huskies this season — as freshman and sophomores also scored points for USM. Freshman Julian Gazzeloni (Windham) came in at 101st with a time just over 28 minutes at 28:01 while sophomore Dylan Lajoie (Lewiston) was 129th at 28:25.
There were only two automatic bids for the NCAA Division III National Championship meet, so the Huskies will be taking a few weeks off to recover and gear up for an indoor track season that looks to build on the success of last year’s team.