WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - Three members of the Brandeis University men's cross country team earned All-New England honors today as the Judges placed fourth overall at the New England Division III championships at Williams College. The squad was rewarded with the program's first team bid to the NCAA Division III Championships since 1998.
Brandeis was led by sophomore Paul Norton (Amherst, Mass.), who finished in ninth place over the 8K course with a time of 26:26.1, earning first-team All-New England honors. His was the best finish at the regional championships by a Brandeis runner since Dan Crespin '05 placed fifth in 2004. Norton improved by 70 places over his regional debut, finishing in 81st place in 2007.
Rookies Chris Brown (No. Chelmsford, Mass.) and UAA Rookie of the Year Marc Boutin (Westford, Mass.) were outstanding in their first regional meet, placing 22nd and 23rd, respectively, finishing seventh-tenths of a second apart in 26:54.3 and 26:57.0, both earning All-New England recognition. They were the fourth and fifth rookies to cross the finish line.
Senior co-captain Mike Stone (E. Falmouth, Mass.) placed 50th with a time of 27:26.9, up 14 spots from 2007, while sophomore Kerwin Vega (Waltham, Mass.) rounded out the Brandeis scorers with a time of 27:20.2.
Brandeis, which entered the meet ranked No. 31 in the nation, scored 158 points to finish behind eighth-ranked Williams (1st, 36 points), No. 18 Amherst (2nd, 122) and No. 15 Trinity (Conn.) (3rd, 143) and ahead of No. 13 Keene State (7th, 220) and No. 23 MIT (8th, 227). The Judges improved five spots over their 2007 mark at New Englands to post their best finish since 1998 at the regional meet. This marks the 22nd appeance at the NCAA Division III meet for the Judges, sixth-most all-time and tops among New England schools. The national championships will be held Nov. 22nd at Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana.
Brandeis is one of four New England schools to qualify for the NCAAs, along with Williams, Amherst and Trinity (Conn.), while four other UAA schools will be participating - Carnegie Mellon, Case Western Reserve, Emory and defending national champions NYU.
Complete results from the 2008 New England Division III Cross Country are available at http://www.finishright.com/XC/08/NEWENGLANDDIV3XC08.htm.