Providence, RI- The men's cross country team is set to open their season this weekend locally at Bryant Invitational. Since a fourth place showing last fall at the 2011 Ivy League Championships, the Bears have graduated a strong class that included All-American Dan Lowry (Plymouth Metting, PA), 2010-11 captain Matt Duffy (Oakland, CA), and contributors Nathan Chellman (Reno, NV), Anthony Schurz (South Bend, IN), and Ethan Hickey (Liverpool, NY).
This season the Bears will look to several experienced returning runners from the senior class including Austin Snyder (Berkeley, CA), Erik Berg (Seattle, WA), Conor Grogan (Hudson, MA), Kevin Cooper (Waterford, IRL), and Ben Stephenson (Austin, TX) to lead the squad under Head Coach Tim Springfield. Berg had an exciting spring track season and qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 1,500 meter run. Additional returnees include juniors Brendan Boyle (Mansfield, MA) and Colin Savage (Liverpool, NY) who both competed at the league championship last fall. Several of the rookies could contribute early on to the team and bolster the front pack.
"We graduated four of our top five runners from last year's team, including an All-American, so the challenge for this year is to find a way to improve despite those losses," said Springfield. " I think we're on our way, and I'm pleased with the level of fitness the team attained training over the summer. If we are going to be successful this year we will need to build the kind of team that runs with a very tight pack, with not a lot of time between our first finisher and our fifth finisher. If we can do that, we'll continue to build on last year's progress."
In mid-September, the squad will have a chance to race against other top runners at the Iona Meet of Champions in New York City. The cross country team will then have an opportunity to travel and race many of the top teams in the nation in October when they travel to the University of Wisconsin for the Adidas Invitational. On October 19th, Brown will host the Rothenberg Run at home that will serve as another racing opportunity before travelling to Princeton for the Heptagonal Championship meet.