Panthers to host first race in 38 years
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's and women's cross country programs will be racing at home for the first time in 38 years on Saturday (Sept. 9) morning.
Plymouth State will welcome runners from Lyndon State College and New Hampshire Technical Institute, as well as a spattering of PSU alumni, to kick off new annual event.
"I think every student-athlete is looking forward to showing what they've got on their home course," said head coach John Ostler. "We're all excited to feed off the energy of a home crowd."
The last home race took place in 1979, a year before the cross country program was dropped as a varsity sport. The programs were reinstated in 2013 under the direction of Plymouth State Athletics Hall of Famer Dave Severance, before Ostler took the reins in 2014.
Under Ostler the program has seen steady improvement. In 2015, runner Sam Brunnette (Newport, Vt.) made an immediate impact on the men's side, earning Little East Conference (LEC) Men's Cross Country Rookie of the Year honors. He followed that up by being named LEC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year last fall after winning the Little East Championship and earning NCAA All-Region status by placing 19th among 384 competitors at the NCAA Division III Regional qualifiers.
Ostler has high expectations for the women's team as well. The women placed third in the LEC last fall and return their top three scorers, senior Rileigh Goulette (Saint Albans, Vt.) and juniors Ashley Bergeron (Berlin, N.H.) and Haley Dennis (Coventry, R.I.). Goulette took 12th place among 85 runners at last year's LEC Championships, setting a school in the process. Her time of 19 minutes, 30 seconds for the 5k distance was 12 seconds better than the existing record and a full minute and eight seconds faster than her previous personal best.
The men's race will kick off at 11:00 a.m., with the women's race slated for an 11:45 a.m. start.
– 30 –