Brunnette finishes 103rd among nation's best
WINNECONNE, Wisc. – The top runner for the Plymouth State University men's cross country team finished 103rd at the NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country National Championships at Lake Breeze Golf Course on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Sam Brunnette (Newport Center, Vt.), appearing at his second national championship meet, finished the 8K course in 25:37.5 despite being slowed down when a fall knocked out a group of 30-plus runners in the early stages.
Seniors Dhruvil Patel and Al Baldonado of North Central finished one-two to lead the Cardinals to their 18th national title and fifth since 2010.
NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country National Championships – Plymouth State (No Team Score)
Brunnette – 103rd of 280 (25:37.5)
How it Happened:
* Brunnette got out to a good start but was effected when a fall knocked out a group of runners in the opening kilometer.
* Brunnette expelled a ton of energy to get back into the mix, but recovered well to move back into the top-20 after five kilometers.
* After pushing so hard to get back into the race, Brunnette was unable to maintain the pace over the final three kilometers.
Inside the Numbers:
* Brunnette was one of 56 individual athletes to compete at the National Championship meet. An additional 32 teams of seven runners each made up the remainder of the field of 280.
* Brunnette ends his career as the most accomplished runner in program history; two appearances at the National Championship, one All-America finish, three straight Little East Conference individual titles, three LEC Runner of the Year awards, one LEC Rookie Runner of the Year award, two USTFCCCA New England Region Athlete of the Year honors and three USTFCCCA All-New England Region honors.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"I'm really proud of Sam," said head coach John Ostler. "It would be disingenuous to say we are happy with the result, but he and everyone associated with the program are proud of his effort today, his season overall and his entire career. His race was two distinct parts. He got out well and really suffered from an early fall around the 1K mark. He rallied really well and got himself back into a great spot by the 5K mark, he just used too much gas to recover and didn't have his legs under him for the final 3K."
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