The first conference title in the Patriot League for a Boston University program came from the women’s cross country team when it took home the Patriot League Championships trophy at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. on Saturday.
Junior Rosa Moriello won the six-kilometer course in 21:09.93, almost 40 seconds faster than second-place senior Kiera Harrison of Loyola University-Maryland. Moriello has won all three races in which she has run this season, and as a result, Moriello was named Patriot League Runner of the Year.
“[It’s been] a pretty good year,” said BU coach Bruce Lehane about Moriello. “She’s been undefeated, so she won the New Englands, won the Patriot League and [I’m] very happy with her developments.”
Senior Monica Adler placed third with a time of 21:52.37, while sophomore Shelby Stableford finished in sixth place in 22:26.05.
Lehane said he was pleased with Adler’s performance, given her struggle with a foot injury this year.
“She’s really in a very compromising situation,” Lehane said. “ … That was pretty gutsy of her because when you’re missing training as a cross country runner, that’s your bread and butter.”
He had even further praise for Stableford’s breakout race.
“Shelby’s race was a big surprise, pleasant,” Lehane said. “She stepped up quite a bit from previous performances and she has … been waiting for this breakthrough to occur, and where is it, and I think finally succeeded. It was a really good time for that to happen.”
Sophomore Michelle Sumner (13th, 22:40.32) and senior Nikki Long (24th, 23:02.67) rounded out the scoring for BU. The Terriers finished with 47 points, 10 points ahead of second-place Lehigh University.
Also finishing within the top 50 were junior Ashli Tagoai (38th, 23:25.08) and sophomore Rachel Lottermann (46th, 23:40.00).
Freshman Felicia Sciortino (56th, 23:56.14), senior Ally Brillaud (64th, 24:14.82), senior Janelle Jorgensen (65th, 24:16.91), freshman Sydney Lagueux (82nd, 24:55.60) and sophomore Erin Pierce (85th, 25:00.97) also competed for the Terriers.
For the men, senior Rich Peters finished in second place with a time of 24:28.11 in the eight-kilometer race, eight seconds behind the winner, senior Tyler Mueller from Lehigh.
“Richard ran a very good race,” Lehane said. “He had a shot at winning at the final sprint to the line, and the kid that did win, the guy from Lehigh, Tyler Mueller, really put together an excellent run. Richard ran very strongly the whole way.”
Sophomore Kevin Thomas finished in 16th place in 25:48.63, and junior Ben Ravetz was six spots behind him with a time of 26:02.16. Junior Aaron Somoroff finished in 34th place, clocking in at 26:25.87, and sophomore Alec Olson finished in 43rd place (26:50.34) as the final scorer for BU. The men totaled 112 points, good for fifth place.
Senior Michael Caputo finished in 46th place with a time of 26:52.66. Sophomore Paul Gennaro finished in 59th (27:19.92), while freshman Matti Groll placed 67th (27:47.79). Sophomore Alex Civitano placed 69th (27:55.51) and senior Tom Waterman finished 73rd (28:00.45). To round out the Terrier contingent, sophomore John McKeon finished 95th with a time of 29:14.29.
Lehane said that the course conditions played a role in the races that day.
“It was a fairly demanding course,” Lehane said. “A particular problem for us was it was very soft grass, and we don’t get to run too much on soft grass. You’ll get on grass, but it tends to be closely cropped and on fairly firm ground, harder ground, but down there it had rained for a few days and it was nice. That sort of running requires a lot out of your balance [and] stabilizing muscles. If you don’t train a lot on it, it’s kind of difficult.”
On top of the already impressive day, Lehane was named Patriot League Coach of the Year.
“It’s very nice, but it’s reflecting more so on the athletes than me,” Lehane said. “They’re the ones that really get out there and perform. I’m in the really fortunate position of having a lot of very good athletes and people to work with, and that’s really what that says more than anything else.”
The true highlight of the day, though, was securing a conference championship in the program’s first year in the Patriot League.
“We were really hoping to get a win there, so that was great fun,” Lehane said. “The transition, there’s so many changes and different looks from the teams and the people and you’re not quite sure how it’s all going to play out. Finally getting in the water and getting wet and having the competition, it was great fun.
“We’re very happy to get the win. I saw a lot of smiles.”