RIDGE, N.H. – The Merrimack men’s cross country team took third place in the Bruce Kirsh Cup on Saturday, nearly topping nationally ranked Franklin Pierce, which entered the race ranked No. 22 in the nation. The Warriors finished just three points behind Franklin Pierce, which took second.
Finish: Merrimack College (3rd/9)
Host: Franklin Pierce | Rindge, N.H.
What They Said
Head Coach Chris Cameron: “The men had another solid race, placing third against two nationally ranked teams, and we were three points away from beating a nationally ranked Franklin Pierce. I was very pleased overall, and I think we’re continuing to gel with a very young team and hopefully can continue that momentum as the season continues and we continue to get better.”
How It Happened
Freshman Connor Murphy (Paxton, Mass.) was the top Merrimack finisher on the day, taking seventh place overall. Murphy, who took 12th overall last week at the Schacklette Invitational, finished with a time of 21:25 on the 6k course.
Fellow freshman Christian Gentile (Melrose, Mass.) finished 11th overall, posting a time that was just 19 seconds behind Murphy’s. Senior Luis Cruz was next to cross the line in 13th place, finishing with a time of 21:56.
Merrimack placed five consecutive finishers from spots 18-22. Sherif Ali (Cliffside Park, N.J.), Phil Harris (Plymouth, Mass.), Keith Steinbrecher (Wading River, N.Y.), Evan Vadenais (Millville, Mass.) and James Wegman (Sandwich, Mass.) all finished within eight seconds of each other.
In total, eight Merrimack runners crossed the line in the top-22.
How They Finished
1. American International 22
2. Franklin Pierce 65
3. Merrimack 68
4. Adelphi 83
5. Southern Connecticut 155
6. Southern New Hampshire 164
7. Le Moyne 168
8. Johnson St. College 246
9. Wheelock 288
Merrimack will have next weekend off before taking part in the Cod Fish Bowl Invitational at Franklin Park in Boston on Sept. 27.
Mike McMahon covers Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike is also on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN