Rosa Moriello wins New England Championships

Junior Rosa Moriello, competing in her second race of the 2013 season, earned her second win this year for the Boston University cross country team at the New England Championships on Saturday.

Moriello won the five-kilometer race with a time of 17:13, 14 seconds ahead of the next runner. It is the third year in a row that a Terrier has won on the women’s side, as senior Monica Adler won the event in 2012 and now-graduated Katie Matthews took the title in 2011.

After her performance at the meet, which was held at Franklin Park, Moriello was named Patriot League Runner of the Week and also received Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

BU coach Bruce Lehane said that while Moriello has been impressive this season, he does not want to celebrate her success too early.

“Based on what she’s been doing early in the season, [she has been impressive],” Lehane said. “On the other hand, you never can count your chickens before they hatch. Various other clichés would apply here. She’s competing really well and she looked great on the day, basically took charge of the race and led from the gun to the finish line. That was exciting.”

Adler, competing in her first meet of the 2013 season, finished seventh with a time of 17:41.

“Monica ran with [Moriello] through two miles, her first event, so maybe she went a little too fast and got pulled past what she was ready to do in an opener,” Lehane said. “Then, over the final [stretch], she ran a little slower than she ordinarily would. But nevertheless, her first event, it reaffirms to me that we have really two really strong runners up front.”

Senior Nikki Long completed the course in a time of 18:10 to finish in 21st place.

“And then Nikki Long … continues to run really well,” Lehane said. “I think she ran just a tad conservative. At New England [Championships], you have a field of 280, so it’s pretty packed, and I think she was just making sure she had a solid run, so she didn’t necessarily go for highest placing possible, but she did want to make sure for the team she had a solid run, which she certainly did.”

Sophomore Shelby Stableford finished in 51st place with a time of 18:39, while fellow sophomore Erin Pierce placed 105th (19:09). Junior Ashli Tagoai (108th, 19:10) and senior Janelle Jorgenson (135th, 19:24) also competed for BU.

For the men, senior Rich Peters opened his season with a second-place finish, clocking in at 24:05. It was a duplicate performance of last year, as American International College’s Mike Biwott won the event for the second year in a row with Peters right behind him. Peters was also named Patriot League Runner of the Week for his efforts.

Sophomore Kevin Thomas placed 27th in the eight-kilometer race with a time of 25:07. Lehane said he is impressed by Thomas’s progress.

“He’s picking up speed,” Lehane said. “He had some back trouble early, but now that’s settled down, so he’s starting to come through.”

Thomas’s classmate, Alec Olson, finished in 34th place with a time of 25:15. Senior Michael Caputo placed 55th in a time of 25:38.

“Probably one of the better performances was our captain, Mike Caputo,” Lehane said. “He ran a 25:38. That’s a pretty strong run for Mike and was really nice to see.”

Junior Ben Ravetz rounded out the scorers for BU with a 78th-place finish (25:50). BU placed fourth as a team with a combined score of 196 points.

Sophomore Paul Gennaro (138th, 26:26) and junior John McKeon (202nd, 27:08) also competed.

With less than two weeks until the team’s first appearance in the Patriot League Championships, Lehane said his team is in full preparation mode.

“This week will be more of a recovery week from the last race,” Lehane said. “Then we’ll get about a 10-12 day period with some fairly heavy workouts and then we’ll have to lighten up again in order to recover in order to race well. It’s going to be exciting.

“… I’m thinking that the women have a very realistic shot at winning that and it’d be a nice way to enter the league, on top. The guys, probably, it’s going to be tougher. I think, on paper, we’re probably fourth. But they don’t run races on paper. We’ll get out there for real, and we’ll see what happens.”

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