HOPKINTON, N.H. (November 5, 2016) – The Franklin Pierce University men's cross country team saw two individuals advance to the national level on Saturday, as senior Dage Minors (Hamilton Parish, Bermuda) and freshman Aidan Gilbride (East Kilbride, Scotland) each earned All-Region honors, by placing fourth and fifth, respectively, at the NCAA Championship East Regional. As a team, the Ravens, who hosted the event at Hopkinton State Fairgrounds for the third straight year placed fourth, also for the third straight year. The top three teams, plus the top three individuals not on a qualifying team, all qualify for the National Championship race.
Minors, with a 10k time of 31:47.5, and Gilbride, clocking in at 31:50.1, were the second and third such qualifiers, behind Southern New Hampshire senior Nacho Hernando in second, who advanced as an individual for the second straight year. All of the above earned all All-East Region accolades, which went to the meet's top 25 finishers.
Unfortunately for the Ravens as a team, it was 22 spots from Gilbride back to the squad's next finisher, as senior B.J. Smith (Concord, N.H.) finished 27th, by stopping the clock at 32:34.6 to narrowly miss All-East Region honors as well. The remainder of the Franklin Pierce scoring came farther down the field at the 169-runner meet, as freshman Jeff Reddy (Chester, N.H.) ran a 33:16.2 to finish 46th, while junior Martin Gradijan (Lebanon, N.H.) turned in a 33:39.0 to place 54th.
It all added up to 136 points for Franklin Pierce, which was only 10 points off of last year's team total, yet left the squad farther back of the advancing schools than it did a year ago, when the Ravens missed qualifying for the National Championship by four points. On Saturday, American International (49 points) put three runners in the top 10 to capture the East Region title, while Stonehill (80 points) in second and Bentley (98 points) in third advanced to the national title race as well. Behind Franklin Pierce, Southern New Hampshire (141 points) rounded out the top-five in fifth.
Individually, AIC sophomore Leakey Kipkosgei (31:05.3) posted a 13-second victory over Hernando (31:18.7) in second. AIC junior Mitchell Byrne took third (31:37.6) in front of Minors, as the latter and Gilbride rounded out the top five.
The National Championship is set for Saturday, Nov. 19, and will be hosted by Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce cross country apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' brand new online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).