First Ever MAAC Championship on the Line for Men's Cross Country on Friday from Van Cortlandt Park

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HAMDEN, Conn. – The traditionally dominant Quinnipiac men's cross country team looks to regain its championship form in their first ever MAAC Championship on Friday. After finishing no worse than second from 2003-09, the Bobcats went through a lull from 2010-11 before finishing a mere seven points out of first place in the 2012 NEC Championship. Now armed with two of the most talented runners in the conference in sophomore Brendan Copley (Colchester, Vt.) and junior Spencer Mannion (Brookfield, Conn.), the Bobcats will look to make some noise in their first year in the MAAC.

Season Highlights

The Bobcats began the year with an impressive second place showing out of five teams at the Stony Brook Invitational. Copley and Mannion combined for a never-before-seen moment as they were the first Bobcat teams to finish in first and second place in the overall standings. Copley stormed out of the gates with a time of 18:58.71 in the 6k event to pick up his first career victory. He won All-MAAC Runner of the Week for his efforts and became the first Quinnipiac runner to win an event since Rich Klauber back in 2008. Mannion meanwhile finished with his second career Top 5 finish as well as a career-best individual finish.

Next on the schedule was a trip down to Bryant for the Nassaney Memorial Race and the Bobcats put forth another strong effort as they finished third as a team out of seven participating institutions, behind only ranked opponents Northeastern and Boston Univ. Copley did not disappoint as he clocked in at 15:23.6 in the 5k event and in fourth place overall. Mixed in with some of the best runners from around the region, Copley's time was just 2.6 seconds off the first place finisher. Mannion continued his hot streak with an eighth place result out of 59 competitors for his second consecutive Top 10 finish to start the year.

The first 8k meet of the season came next as the Bobcats took to Van Cortlandt Park for the first time with this contingent of runners. They finished 16th as a team out of 20 schools as Copley persevered through a crowded field of 210 runners to lead the team with a 35th place result.

The men's cross country squad was back on their game the following competition, also their most crowded event of the year, at the Paul Short Men's Brown 8k Run. Copley and Mannion managed to successfully navigate their way through a massive field of 372 competitors to both post Top 20 finishes. Quinnipiac placed 11th as a team out of 46 competing institutions and were led once again by Copley who placed 14th with a time of 25:47. Mannion was the most improved runner of anyone on the team from a year ago as he clocked in at 25:50, good enough for 18th place overall. A year after finishing the 2012 Paul Short Invitational with a time of 27:15, he crossed the line a full 1:25 faster than his official time last season.

The Bobcats bumped up three spots from their 2012 result at the 2013 New England Championships. They finished in 20th place out of 41 teams, three spots higher than their 23rd place result at the 2012 meet. Copley clocked in at 24:58 for a pace of just under 5:00 per mile as he took down a 20th place finish out of 279 runners. His time was the third-fastest among all sophomore competitors and helped him earn his second MAAC Runner of the Week award.

The final tune-up meet of this season was just last week as the team took a 7th place result (out of 15) at the CCSU Mini Meet. Seniors Jacob Cetera (Chicago, Ill.) and Ryan Wolff (Mount Holly, N.J.) were honored in the Bobcats' Senior Day festivities while Copley posted another Top 5 finish, his third of the year, to lead the way. He clocked in at 15:09 in the 5k event to finish in 4th place overall out of 119 competitors. Mannion (17th place overall) combined with Copley once again as the pair made it a perfect six-for-six this season finishing as the Bobcats' top-two runners.

Player-by-Player Rundown for 2013 MAAC Championship

Jacob Cetera

Has been a solid contributor throughout his Quinnipiac career as this senior will look to make one last push to help capture the long-elusive title for this four-year runner.

Individual Results (team finish/overall finish) during 2013 season

7th/28th                20:41                   Stony Brook Invitational

7th/31st                16:47                    Bryant Invitational

6th/157th             27:37                    Paul Short

6th/184th             26:57                    New England Varsity Championship

7th/81st                16:30                    CCSU Mini Meet

Brendan Copley

Coming into this season without any Top 5 finishes to his name, Copley has been a sensation this season in his second year with the Bobcats. The 2012 All-NEC runner has been the top finisher for Quinnipiac in all six races this season, including three Top 5 finishes. A two-time MAAC Runner of the Week, tied for the most of any runner in the conference, Copley is a potential Top 5 threat for the Bobcats in their first glimpse at 22-time defending MAAC Champion Iona.

Individual Results (team finish/overall finish) during 2013 season

1st/1st                    18:58.71              Stony Brook Invitational

4th/1st                   15:23.6                Bryant Invitational

35th/1st                26:28.79              Iona Meet of Champions

14th/1st                25:47                    Paul Short

20th/1st                24:58                    New England Varsity Championship

4th/1st                   15:08.53              CCSU Mini Meet

Alex Doherty

One of the Bobcats' three freshmen runners this season has finished as high as third on the team behind Copley and Mannion. His best race of the season came in the Bryant Invitational with a time of 16:17.8 as he will look to pack up with his fellow classmates and move up the overall standings.

Individual Results (team finish/overall finish) during 2013 season

111th/3rd             16:17.8                Bryant Invitational

198th/5th             30:59.25              Iona Meet of Champions

146th/5th             27:30                    Paul Short

130th/3rd             26:23                    New England Varsity Championship

72nd/5th               16:20.21              CCSU Mini Meet

Dylan Fearon

The freshman out of Tenafly, N.J. has put together a strong first year with the Bobcats, giving them great depth going into his first Championship meet. Competing in all six events this season, Fearon had his best showing at the Paul Short Run with a time of 27:15 in the 8k event.

Individual Results (team finish/overall finish) during 2013 season

16th/4th                20:07.57              Stony Brook Invitational

26th/5th                16:38.2                Bryant Invitational

167th/4th             28:32.91              Iona Meet of Champions

119th/4th             27:15                    Paul Short

176th/5th             26:52                    New England Varsity Championship

66th/4th                16:16.44              CCSU Mini Meet

Kyle Liang

The third and final freshmen contributor this season for Quinnipiac has rounded out the Bobcat contingent in each of his five races this season.

Individual Results (team finish/overall finish) during 2013 season

21st/6th                 20:25.4                 Stony Brook Invitational

28th/6th                16:40.8                Bryant Invitational

242nd/7th            28:25                    Paul Short

210th/7th             27:14                    New England Varsity Championship

78/6th                   16:26.05              CCSU Mini Meet

Spencer Mannion

Every bit as dominant as Copley this season has been Mannion as the pair have combined to finish as the top two Bobcat runners in all six events in 2013. The junior standout opened the year with a career high 2nd place result at the Stony Brook Invitational and followed with his second consecutive Top 10 finish as the Bryant Invitational. Always a clutch performer, Mannion will look to prove himself amongst new competition as the Bobcats move from the NEC to the MAAC.

Individual Results (team finish/overall finish) during 2013 season

2nd/2nd                 19:13.94              Stony Brook Invitational

8th/2nd                 15:46.4                 Bryant Invitational

86th/2nd               27:17.54              Iona Meet of Champions

18th/2nd               25:50                    Paul Short

42nd/2nd              25:26                    New England Varsity Championship

17th/2nd               15:28.06              CCSU Mini Meet

Matt Mensher

A consistent, steady performer for the Bobcats all season has been their sophomore Matt Mensher. Finishing no worse than fourth among Bobcat competitors all season, Mensher picked up a Top 10 finish in the team's first meet at the Stony Brook Invitational as he crossed the line in 9th place.

Individual Results (team finish/overall finish) during 2013 season

9th/3rd                  19:41.25              Stony Brook Invitational

21st/4th                 16:30                    Bryant Invitational

110th/3rd             27:39.53              Iona Meet of Champions

102nd/3rd            27:05                    Paul Short

162nd/4th            26:42                    New England Varsity Championship

64th/3rd               16:12.04              CCSU Mini Meet

 

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu