Brunnette, Bartlett finish one-two for the Panthers
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The top two runners for the Plymouth State University men's cross country team shined at the Little East Conference Championships on Saturday, clinching the top two individual finishes while claiming All-LEC honors to lead the Panthers to a third place finish.
Senior Sam Brunnette (Newport Center, Vt.) became just the second runner in Little East history to three-peat, earning the individual title with a time of 26:42.9. Classmate Warren Bartlett (Loudon, N.H.) wasn't far behind, crossing the line in 26:55.1 to give the Panthers an impressive one-two finish.
Plymouth State finished third in the team standings with 83 points. Southern Maine (43 points) narrowly topped the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (48 points) for the team title. The Panthers held off Keene State (85 points), with Eastern Connecticut State (132 points) a distant fifth. University of Massachusetts Boston (166 points), Castleton (185 points), Rhode Island College (205 points) and Western Connecticut State (278 points) rounded out the competition.
Little East Conference Championships – Plymouth State 3rd of 9 teams
How it Happened:
* Brunnette and Bartlett have provided the Panthers with an impressive one-two punch for years and the duo was up to the test again, battling sloppy course conditions on the way to their top performances.
* Sophomore Marcus Cryan (Topsfield, Mass.) was the team's third finisher crossing the line in 19th with a time of 29:17.2.
* Senior Chaim Tendler (Manchester, N.H.) posted a time of 29:55.9 to finish 30th, while sophomore Jared Wolf (Tyngsborough, N.H.) was the team's final point scorer with a 31st place finish in 29:57.6.
* Junior Benjamin Platt (Manchester, N.H.) crossed the line just behind Wolf in 30:14.4 to take 32nd.
Inside the Numbers:
* Brunnette joins Deon Barrett of UMass Dartmouth as the conference's only back-to-back-to-back champions. Barrett took the titles in 1992, 1993 and 1994.
* Juniors Hunter Zabkar (Lee, N.H.) and Nate Belanger (Newmarket, N.H.) finished 46th and 51st, while freshmen Kyle Mau (Dover, N.H.), Ethan Goodreau (Spencer, Mass.) and Randall Scroggins (Rumney, N.H.) rounded out the field for the Panthers.
* Mau finished 55th, with Goodreau in 63rd and Scroggins in 68th.
* The field consisted of 81 runners.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We came in 'ranked' third based on the regular season," said head coach John Ostler, "so I'm not unhappy to hold serve. Last year we finished fourth and every year we want to get better so it was mission accomplished in that sense. What a way for Sam and Warren to cap their Little East cross country careers. They're firing on all cylinders and they flexed their muscles today."
* Ostler will select seven competitors to represent Plymouth State at the NCAA Division III New England Regionals in two weeks. The meet will take place at Bowdoin University on Nov. 10, with start time yet to be determined.
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