WATERFORD, Conn. – Senior captain Sean Hughes (Old Saybrook, Conn.) led Salve Regina to an improved placement in the NCAA Division III New England Regional Cross Country Championship on Saturday. The Seahawks finished 38 of 55 teams, up two spots from 2014. There were 58 programs represented in the meet.
Hughes placed 171st in the field of 380 runners, crossing the finish line at 27:42.7 in his final race for Salve Regina. Hughes has scored for the Seahawks in four consecutive regional championship meets, the first runner in program history to do so. He ran at No. 1 in three of those four meets.
Junior captain Billy Martin (West Islip, N.Y.) was the second man for the Seahawks, finishing at 28:09.6. In the middle miles of the race, Martin led a pack that included sophomores David Napierkowski (Cheshire, Conn.) and Andrew Sardelli (Hope Valley, R.I.), who also finished among the Salve Regina scorers.
Napierkowski, freshman Tyler Lancaster (Warwick, R.I.) and Sardelli rounded out the scoring, crossing the finish line at 28:36.8, 28:42.3 and 28:49.2. Junior captain Jay Brennan (North Haven, Conn.) and sophomore Scott Brewer (Palmer, Mass.) ran at No. 6 and No. 7, finishing within one second of one another at 29:06.2 and 29:06.5.
The five Seahawk scorers combined for a team time of 2:22:00.6, an average of 28:24.2 per man. That marks the program's fastest performance in a regional meet, eclipsing the previous best of 2:22:43.48 (28:32.7) set in 2013. The team score of 1,095 and team placement are also the second-best since Salve Regina's program was reconstituted in 2005.
Williams College placed three scorers in the top 10 and captured the regional championship with a team score of 67, one point ahead of runner-up Amherst (68). Tufts University finished third (80), Wesleyan University (114) placed fourth and MIT (128) finished fifth. Amherst sophomore Mohamed Hussein won the individual title, crossing the finish line at 24:39.8.
The regional meet marks the end of the 2015 cross country campaign for Salve Regina.