LINCOLN, R.I. – Salve Regina University placed three scorers inside the top 15 en route to claiming the team title in the Tri-State Invitational at the Community College of Rhode Island on Saturday.
Senior Scott Brewer (Wilbraham, Mass.) and freshman Aidan Lynch (Little Silver, N.J.) led the scoring charge, finishing seventh and eighth overall in the field of 86 runners. Brewer and Lynch crossed the finish line just one second apart, at 28:50 and 28:51. Their nearly identical finishes came from dramatically different race tactics.
Brewer ran as high as fourth, trailing the lead pack through the opening miles. He held his position through the first out-and-back segment along the grass and trails on the Flanagan Campus, but had dropped to sixth by the time runners ascended the long, gradual hill in the third mile. Lynch made a more conservative start, running outside the top 20 at the first mile and gradually working his way up. Lynch caught Brewer in the final mile, and the two Seahawks sprinted toward the finish together.
Senior Andrew Sardelli (Hope Valley, R.I.) found himself in a familiar situation, dueling with Mount Ida College freshman Mike Flowers for the second consecutive week. The two finished four seconds apart – in consecutive positions – in the meet at Chicopee, Mass., last week, and battled again on Saturday. Flowers finished two seconds – and one spot – ahead of Sardelli, who crossed the finish line at 29:09.
Senior Dave Napierkowski (Cheshire, Conn.) and sophomore Riley Rancourt (Warren, R.I.) capped the scoring for Salve Regina, finishing at 29:53 and 30:03. Junior Dan Donnelly (Portsmouth, R.I.) and sophomore Chandler Da Cruz (Middletown, R.I.) ran at No. 6 and No. 7.
"The guys had the right attitude toward this race. They knew that they could be in contention, and they carried themselves like a team that was running to win," said head coach Rob McGuinness. "Our guys were determined to make it happen today. I'm proud to see them earn another invitational title."
Salve Regina won the team championship with a score of 58. Emmanuel College was second with 78 points, and Worcester State University finished third with 86. The Seahawks claimed an invitational championship for the second consecutive week, the first time in program history that the team has won back-to-back invitationals.
Salve Regina results, 8K:
7. Scott Brewer – 28:50
8. Aidan Lynch – 28:51
11. Andrew Sardelli – 29:09
18. Dave Napierkowski – 29:53
19. Riley Rancourt – 30:03
22. Dan Donnelly – 30:18
26. Chandler Da Cruz – 30:45
32. Brendan Kelly – 31:27
39. Neil Sheehan – 32:33
46. Matt Simmons – 32:48
67. John Lutz – 37:17
74. Jack Farrell – 39:44
The Seahawks return to action at the Connecticut College Invitational on Oct. 14.
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(Courtesy of Rob McGuinness)