WOODLAND PARK, N.J. – The Brandeis University men's cross country team had a solid day at the 2017 University Athletic Association championships today hosted by New York University at Garrett Mountain in Woodland Park, New Jersey.
The team finished sixth out of the eight teams competing. The Judges'a team score of 117 points was the second-lowest in UAA meet history for a sixth-place finisher, and was just 16 points shy of a third-place finish. Defending champs Washington University won the meet (40 points), followed by runners-up Carnegie Mellon (79 points), third place Emory (101 points), fourth place NYU (107 points) and fifth place University of Chicago (115 points). The Bears and Tartans are ranked 9th and 12th nationally, respectively with Chicago (23th), NYU (29th), and Emory (35th) all being among the USTFCCCA's top 35 in Division III as well. Brandeis's close proximity to highly-ranked teams could help their efforts come selection for the NCAA Championships in a couple of weeks.
"I was really proud of how hard the team ran today," said head coach Sinead Delahunty Evans. "This is the strongest cross country conference in Division III, and we have progressed nicely after each of our meets. I'm excited to race at Regionals next week to see what we are capable of."
Leading the way for the Judges individually was senior Ryan Stender (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) who finished in fifth place overall, his second consecutive top 5 honor after finishing second a year ago. For his finish today he received first team All-UAA honors for the second-straight year. Stender covered the eight-kilometer in 26:20.0. Brandeis's second runner was classmate Mitchell Hutton (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park), who ran 26:53.4 finishing 20th today. Hutton has been the team's consistent number two all year and ran true to form today.
Brandeis's third-place finisher was rookie Luke Ostrander (Tacoma, Wash. / Bellarmine Prep), who came in 25th overall with a time of 26:59.2. Ostrander was honored as part of the Outstanding Rookie team as he was the 4th first-year across the line in today's race.
Senior Liam Garvey (West Springfield, Mass./West Springfield) came in fourth for the Judges with a time of 27:07.7. Garvey was the team's fourth man a year ago as well and continued his UAA consistency finishing 29th today after finish 24th last year and 31st the year before that. Rookie Mark Murdy (Plantsville, Conn. / Southington) rounded out the Judges' top five with a mark of 27:33.4 in his first UAA showing, good for 44th overall. Senior Max Whitmore (Wayne, N.J. / Newark Acad.) and sophomore Dan Curley (Norwood, Mass. / Norwood) rounded out the team's top seven, placing 46th and 55th, respectively, with times of 27:37.8 and 28:03.3. Three other runners also ran for the Judges at the conference championships. Senior Brian Sheppard (Whitman, Mass. / Whitman-Hanson Reg.) came in 65th with a time of 28:28.8, rookie Josh Lombardo (Westbrook Maine, Westbrook) ran 28:45.2 to finish 69th and sophomore Brian Gao (Hopkinton, Mass. / Hopkinton) finished with a time of 29:18.5 to come home in 74th.
The Judges return to action in two weeks at the NCAA New England Regional Championships hosted by the University of Southern Maine.
-- By Eli Waxler '19