Gorham, Maine – The men's cross country team were led to a strong team finish by a pair of All-New England performances as the Judges finished in sixth at the 2017 NCAA Division III New England Championships at Gorham Country Club, hosted by the University of Southern Maine.
The Judges finished 6th, a three-place improvement from 2016 and the best finish as team since 2010 when the men were third. Senior captain Ryan Stender (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) led the way, racing for the chance to return to the NCAA championships after placing 37th there a year ago. Running near the front for the entirety of the race, Stender covered the eight-kilometer course in 25:37.2 to finish in 6th place. This was a five-point improvement for the senior and the best finish by a Brandeis runner at New England since 2009, when Paul Norton '11 placed third overall. This will be Stender's third time representing the Judges nationally as he also competed at the 2016 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Co-captain Mitchell Hutton (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park) earned his second career All-Region honor by placing 27th overall with a time of 26:05.1. Hutton placed 23rd at these championships a year ago.
Classmate and co-captain Liam Garvey (West Springfield, Mass./West Springfield) save his best race of the season for today and his best regionals performance for his final cross country race in a Brandeis uniform. Garvey has improved at regionals every year of his career, finishing 47th in 2016, 78th in 2015 and 138th in 2014, which all together culminated in his 38th place finish today in a time of 26:16.1.
First year Luke Ostrander (Tacoma, Wash. / Bellarmine Prep) keyed off of his upper classmen teammates well and acquitted himself nicely in his first regional championship. The rookie handled the big meet pressure well and raced to a 43rd place finish in 26:19.2.
Sophomore Dan Curley (Norwood, Mass. / Norwood) rounded out the team's top five with a 101st -place finish and a time of 27:11.6. Senior Max Whitmore (Wayne, N.J. / Newark Acad.) and rookie Mark Murdy (Southington, Conn./Southington) completed the Judges' top seven by placing 110th and 133rd overall respectively in times of 27:17.4 and 27:45.0.
As a team, the Judges collected 215 points, just four behind fifth-place Bates and three ahead of nationally ranked Connecticut College.
-- by Eli Waxler '19