Baltimore – The UMass Lowell women’s cross country team completed the three-peat Saturday in Baltimore, taking home the America East Conference Championship for the third year in a row. The men picked up a conference title, as well, marking the third year in a row that the River Hawks have swept the championship.
Senior Kenzie Doyle (Swansea, Mass.) set a personal record and America East Championship in the women’s 5k race, finishing with a personal best time of 16:19.2 on her way to the individual conference title.
“Kenzie ran the best race of her life,” said the Head Coach Gary Gardner. “I’m so excited to see what she can do in the coming weeks.”
Doyle dominated the competition, leading from the start. She was pleased with her excellent performance, but she was even more pleased with the team’s victory.
“The record breaking time is news to me,” said Doyle. “I’m very happy with that. I’m very happy with how the team performed most of all. I remember crossing the line and trying to encourage everyone. When everyone was insider, the most important thing for me was I was very happy with that, more than my individual title.”
Right behind Doyle and joining her on the America East Conference First Team was fellow graduate student Izzy Giesing (Bradford, Vt.), finishing fourth with a mark of 16:59.6. Sophomore Sarah Ross (Agawam, Mass.) followed with an eighth-place finish, earning a personal-best time of 17:37.4 and Second Team All-Conference honors. Ross’ finish included three River Hawks in the top ten runners. Ross also added the America East Cross Country Elite 18 Award to her collection, which honors the medal winner of the event with the highest GPA. Ross has a 4.0 GPA in Plastics Engineering.
Overall, the women had five runners in the top 14 and seven in the top 25, as graduate student Caroline O’Shea (Nashua, NH) crossed the finish line in 11th place with a personal-best time of 17:44.2 and freshman Mary. -Kate Finn (Nashua, NH) finished in 14th place with a personal best of 18:00.9, and both earned a spot on the America East Conference Second Team as well.
Junior Mary Yount (Northampton, Mass.) and graduate student Rachel Sessa (Tewksbury, Mass.) rounded out the scoring for the River Hawks, with Yount finishing 21st with a personal best time of 18:16.5 and Sessa cruising to her 18 :24.8 time for 25th place.
“Our women completely exceeded my expectations,” Gardner said. “They put themselves in a great position and never gave an inch. It was awesome to watch.”
For leading the teams to another string of conference championships, the UMass Lowell coaching staff was named the 2022 America East Coaching Staff of the Year for both the men’s and women’s programs for the second year in a row.