Brunnette repeats as individual champion, Bartlett named All-Conference
KEENE, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's cross country team took fourth place at the Little East Conference (LEC) Men's Cross Country Championship Saturday, hosted by Keene State College.
Junior Sam Brunnette (Newport, Vt.) took home the individual title after finishing the 8K race in 24:42.5, a personal best and school record, as well as the third fastest time in LEC championship history. Brunnette and classmate Warren Bartlett (Loudon, N.H.) earned All-Conference Team honors for finishing among the top ten. Bartlett's time of 26:01 was a season best and was tied for the sixth fastest time of the day.
"Sam's race turned some heads today," said head coach John Ostler. "Being a repeat champion in a strong conference like the LEC is a great accomplishment that he should be very proud of. He's making his mark on the Little East history book."
Brunnette, who became the first repeat individual champion since Southern Maine's Tyler Jasud won in 2008 and 2009, topped his 2016 championship race time by 30 seconds. He became just the seventh runner in league history to win back-to-back conference titles, and his time was just 1.5 seconds behind Keene State's Dave Bridgewater (24:41 in 2004) for the second best time in LEC championship history. Keene's Mark Miller holds the LEC championship record time of 24:00, set in 2001.
PSU finished with 83 points, just one point behind UMass Dartmouth (82) for fourth place, while Southern Maine (36 points) and Keene State (58 points) took the top two spots.
"Fourth is a fine performance for our team in such a quality conference," added Ostler. "The teams we raced and lost to are solid teams who brought it today. We wanted to move up in the team standings from last year and we couldn't do that today, but we didn't move backwards."
Junior Chaim Tendler (Manchester, N.H.) finished 23rd with a time of 27:53, with freshmen Jared Wolf (Tyngsborough, Mass.) and Marcus Cryan (Topsfield, Mass.) both crossing the line within ten seconds. Freshman Keegan Flynn (Tewksbury, Mass.), sophomore Trevor Campbell (Coventry, R.I.) and sophomore Noah Byington (Hanscom AFB, Mass.) all finished in the top 40, with senior Brendan Polichronopoulos (Penacook, N.H.), freshman Dylan Guinard-Taylor (Concord, N.H.) and sophomore Jonathan Sawyer (Gloucester, Mass.) taking 41st, 47th and 54th, respectfully.
The Panthers will enjoy two weeks of preparation before NCAA Regionals on Saturday, Nov. 11, where Ostler expects big things from Brunnette.
"Sam's time today shows me and the rest of our region that he is primed for a great race in two weeks," he stated.
The University of Southern Maine will host the regional championships, with start time set for 11:00 a.m.
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