Men’s Cross Country Peppers Top 20 on Way to Second at Smith College Invitational

Men’s Cross Country Peppers Top 20 on Way to Second at Smith College Invitational

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (September 9, 2017) – On Saturday at the Smith College Cross Country Invitational, the Franklin Pierce University men's cross country team put two runners in the top 10 and had six competitors finish in the top 20 of an 82-runner field. It all added up to a second-place finish, out of seven teams, for the Ravens at the meet.

"This is a really focused group," said head coach Zach Emerson after the meet. "We could be really dangerous come November [and the NCAA East Regional]."

The Ravens finished the day with 50 points, which was comfortably good for second place. Amherst (17 points) ran away with the meet title, as the Mammoths had the top three finishers, as well as eight of the top 10. Behind Franklin Pierce, Westfield State (75 points) finished third.

Sophomore Jason Reed (Foxborough, Mass.) led the way for the Ravens on Saturday, with a 5k time of 16:43.0, which was good for fourth place. He was joined in the top 10 by senior Martin Gradijan (Lebanon, N.H.), who placed ninth, with a run of 16:55.8.

Freshman Anthony Pizzo (Peabody, Mass.), sophomore Walker John (Boscawen, N.H.) and sophomore Tyler Hayes (Kings Park, N.Y.) rounded out Franklin Pierce's scoring five at smith. Pizzo finished 12th (17:05.4), John was right behind him in 13th (17:08.4), and Hayes placed 17th (17:11.5). Sophomore Jeff Reddy (Chester, N.H.) added a top-20 finish as well, by taking 20th place (17:30.7).

The Ravens return to action on Saturday, Sept. 16, when they host the Bruce Kirsh Cross Country Cup at Hopkinton State Fairgrounds in Hopkinton, N.H.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics ( Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (, its YouTube channel ( and its Twitter feed ( Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce cross country apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (