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    Women’s Cross Country Wins America East Championship

    The Stony Brook Seawolves Cross Country team was awash with excitement on Saturday as the Women’s team once again took home the Conference title for the second year in a row.

    The women placed four runners in the top ten spots and five overall in the top fifteen.

    The men’s consistent and hard working efforts were finally paid off yesterday as they showed their mettle, placing one-two in the top spots and second overall.

    Tim Hodge edged out fellow runner Alex Felce by a paltry two seconds in a race both men will never forget. This was the third consecutive year that the men’s team placed second.

    The Women’s team fought through the pressure of defending their title with a performance that matched its domination last year.

    Sophomore Holly Van Dalen, from Wanganui, New Zealand, led the way for the Seawolves, finishing with a time of 17:22.30, good enough for second place.

    Continuing the theme of the day with back-to-back finishes, Laura Huet, a junior from Carricksmine, Ireland, took third with a time of 17:30.05.

    Five seconds later, sophomore Lucy Van Dalen crossed fifth with a time of 17:35.20 and right behind her, freshman Hayley Green from Wellington, New Zealand finished with a time of 17:37.80.

    Rounding out the top fifteen, sophomore Carolina Cortes finished in thirteenth with a time of 18:13.90.

    “The Women’s performance yesterday was fantastic,” Head Coach Andy Ronan said. “It is hard to win two Championships in a row, so the race this year carried more pressure. Combined with some injuries and sickness over the last two weeks, I feel the ladies responded great. When the gun went they showed their competitive edge and desire to defend the title, so I am very proud of them.”

    On the Men’s side, the sophomore and junior, Hodge and Felce, respectively, were the top story of the day.

    From a distance, it would seem that these two runners were out competing against one another, trying to one up the other.

    Yet Tim Hodge and Alex Felce have the greatest respect for one another, and both couldn’t be happier for each other.

    “Tim and Alex were the class of the field yesterday,” Coach Ronan said. “They took over the race from the start, and then went man on man for the win. They are great competitors, and respect each other and I know Alex would rather see Tim win the title rather than someone from another school.

    “They will go onto the NCAA regionals with a lot of confidence; both of them have a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championhips,” he said.

    The next top finisher for the Seawolves was Daire Birmingham, a junior from Carrickfergus, Ireland, crossed twelfth in a time of 26:08.10, while freshmen David Frankel from Woodbury, N.Y. and from Setauket, N.Y. finished 22nd and 27th, respectively, with times of 26:34.08 and 26:49.03.

    Coach Ronan was not disappointed with his team’s overall place. “Our men’s team once again gave it a great effort in an attempt to win our first title,” he said. “They came up short for the third year in a row, but that is nothing to be disappointed with, consistency leads to championships, and I believe this group will win a championship in the next year or two.”

    The Women’s team will be in action in two weeks as they will try to qualify for a return to the Championships with a top finish in the NCAA Regionals in Van Cortlandt Park in New York. Tim Hodge and Alex Felce will be doing the same as individuals.

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