Saturday's Championship: The 2017 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Cross Country Championship will take place this Saturday, October 28, at Mount Blue High School hosted by the University of Maine at Farmington. The women's (5k) race will start at 12:00 p.m., following the men's race (8K) at 11:00 a.m.
Coaches' Poll: In preparation for the 2017 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Cross Country Championship, a poll was conducted among the league's head women's cross country coaches predicting how the teams would finish.
Colby-Sawyer was selected to repeat as the champion after receiving six first-place votes for a total of 115 points in the pre-championship poll, while UMaine-Farmington claimed a close second with 113 points after receiving the remaining five first-place votes and Castleton, the 2016 runner-up, was tabbed third with 101 points.
Husson placed fourth with 74 points, while Maine Maritime was voted fifth (63 points), New England College took sixth (62 points) and Green Mountain and Lyndon tied for seventh (58 points). Rounding out the 2017 Pre-Championship Poll were Thomas in ninth (33 points), Johnson in 10th (31 points) and UMaine-Presque Isle in 11th (18 points).
Participating Teams: 106 student-athletes from 11 different institutions will run for the 2017 conference title, as host UMF will be joined by squad from Castleton, Colby-Sawyer, Green Mountain, Husson, Johnson, Lyndon, Maine Maritime, New England College, UMaine-Presque Isle and Thomas.
The Course: For a course map of the women's 5K race, please click HERE.
The Mariners: Maine Maritime will be led by junior Sierra James (Campton, N.H.). James has led the Mariners in five of the team's seven races. Alex Allen (Easton, Maine), Abigail L'Abbé (Topsham, Maine), Olivia Smith (Skowhegan, Maine) and Julia Dillon (Norway, Maine) are also Mariners to watch. Smith was the top finisher for the Mariners at the UMass.-Dartmouth invite in September.
A Look Back at the 2016 Championship: Colby-Sawyer earned its third-consecutive North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Women's Cross Country title after finishing as the top team. Kaylyn Crompton of Castleton won the NAC individual title with a time of 21:02.5
The Chargers claimed first place after scoring 36 points with five runners in the top ten. The 5k championship race included 86 total runners, representing 11 schools.
The women's team runner-up was Castleton after posting 55 points, while Husson was third with a score of 105 followed by UMaine-Farmington (111), Maine Maritime (164), Johnson State (164), New England College (177), Green Mountain (201), and Lyndon (213). UMaine-Presque Isle and Thomas competed in the championship, but did not score as teams.
2017 Preview Meet: On Saturday, September 2, five of the 11 NAC women's cross country teams competed in the UMaine-Farmington Invitational, which served as a preview for the 2017 NAC Championship. UMF topped all NAC teams in the race, claiming second with 57 points, while Colby-Sawyer took third with 74 points and New England College placed fifth with 148 points. Maine Maritime took sixth (164) and UMaine-Presque Isle placed seventh (193).
Maine Maritime Last Season at the NAC Championship: Jessica Faltings finished 18th overall to lead the Maine Maritime Academy women's cross country team to a fifth place finish at the 2016 North Atlantic Conference Championship.
Faltings finished the 5K course with a time of 23.40.2 to pace the Mariners in the 86 runner field. Nerissa Larrabee crossed the finish line next for the Mariners in 33rd place, followed closely by Mary Shea and Alex Allen in 36th and 37th place respectively. Robyn Larrabee rounded out the top five finisher for the Mariners in 40th place.
Colby-Sawyer claimed the NAC Championship with a combined team score of 36. The Chargers placed five runners in the top five. Castleton University's Kaylyn Crompton was the top finisher, recording a time of 21.02.5.
The women's runner-up was Castleton University, as the Spartans turned in a 55, while Husson was third with a score of 105 followed by UMaine-Farmington (111), Johnson State (164) in sixth, New England College (177), Green Mountain (201), Lyndon (213) and UMaine-Presque Isle and Thomas (Inc.)
Looking forward: Saturday's race will serve as a final tune up before the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championships hosted by the University of Southern Maine at Gorham Country Club (Gorham, Maine) on Saturday, November 11. Teams and runners are ultimately hoping to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships scheduled for Saturday, November 18, in Elsah, Ill. at North Farm Facility.