Corey Conner placed fourth overall Saturday to lead the University of Maine women’s cross country team to a 16th-place finish in the NCAA Division I Northeast Regional at Madison, Conn.
Conner was timed in 19 minutes, 57.3 seconds in the 6-kilometer race. The time should give Conner an excellent chance to advance to the NCAA Championships, according to the GoBlackBears.com website.
“She’s gotten to the point where she knows she’s at that level of competition now and she knows that physically she can do it and she’s sartting to believe more and more that she can run with the national-level people,” said UMaine coach Mark Lech.
“She ran it very smart,” he added. “Corey, at the level she’s running at now, is still a novice. She wasn’t at the same level as a lot of the girls she beat this past weekend in high school.
Sidney’s David Currier placed 71st in leading the Black Bears men’s team to a 21st-place finish. He ran the 10K with a time of 31:41.1.
UMaine standout Riley Masters of Bangor started the men’s race, but became ill and could not continue.
“He made it to about two miles and didn’t feel good,” said Lech, who explained the unseasonably warm temperatures, in the mid-60s, contributed to Masters’ illness.
“For him to be able to continue at that pace for four more miles would have been difficult for him,” Lech said. “He’s an indoor and track person. He’s still working his way to cross country. He’s not quite as comfortable with it yet.”
Stony Brook’s Lucy Van Dalen and Holly Van Dalen placed first and second, respectively, in the women’s race. Lucy Van Dalen had a winning time of 19:38.4. Syracuse won the event 78 points to Stony Brooks’ 83 points.
Leonard Korir of Iona won the men’s race with a time of 29:36.9. Syracuse also won the men’s event over Iona 56 to 63.
Jordan Daniel of Corinna was 49th in the women’s race with a time of 21:26.2. Allison Conner was 87th (21:58.9) followed by Jennifer Lucy (22:28.2) in 124th and Whitney Chamberlain (22:35.9) in 131st place.
Spencer McElwain of Caribou was second-best for the Maine men with a 94th place effort. He clocked a time of 32:04.1. Taylor Phillips was 126th with a time of 32:36.4 followed by Corey Bean (32:44.6) in 139th and Christopher Harmon (33:19.3) in 166th spot.