HOLMDEL, N.J. The Quinnipiac University men's cross country team won its third consecutive Northeast Conference Championship Saturday morning. Richard Klauber (Thomaston, Conn.) was named the NEC Outstanding Performer and Freshman of the Year after finishing first at the conference championship meet with a time of 26:20. Head Coach Ed O'Connor was honored as the NEC Coach of the Year for the fifth time as the Bobcats finished first of 11 teams with 52 points.
This is the second consecutive year that a member of the Bobcats has been named the NEC's Outstanding Performer as Jacob Gurzler won last year's meet. Klauber is only the second runner to be honored as the top performer and freshman in the same season, joining Fairleigh Dickinson's Sam Chelanga in 2006.
"Rich did an outstanding job today," said O'Connor. "There aren't a lot of freshman that win in this conference. He worked extremely hard to get to this point."
Joining Klauber on the NEC All-Conference Team were teammates John Greenlaw (Hampstead, N.H.), Dan Roark (Dracut, Mass.) and Tyler Dinnan (Juneau, Alaska). Greenlaw finished the five-mile course in 17:10 for ninth overall. Roark and Dinnan crossed the line 11th and 12th overall. Roark finished with a time of 27:12.0, edging Dinnan by two-hundredths of a second as the junior crossed with a time of 27:12.2.
"The guys did a fantastic job today," O'Connor said. "This was our goal all season, to win three straight championships. They worked all season in their training and it all came together today."
Quinnipiac's 52 points led the 12-team field. Mount St. Mary's (76), Sacred Heart (102), Monmouth (103) and Wagner (126) rounded out the top five.