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September 15, 2012

Mariners Place Fourth, Crush D-III Competition

The United States Merchant Marine Academy men's cross country team placed fourth overall at the LIU Post Invitational beating out all Division-III schools and community colleges they raced against as well as nine out of 11 D-II schools.

Temperatures were a little warm, but overall favorable at the LIU Post Invitational in Brookville, NY.

Teams competing included a mix of D-I, II, & III schools as well as a handful of community colleges.  Notable competitors in a tough field included Fordham, LIU Post, Molloy, Dowling, and Farmingdale State. 

Merchant Marine finished just two points shy of Molloy College to finish fourth overall at the meet.  During the 2012 season, Kings Point's record stands at 15-0 against division-III schools, 9-2 against D-II schools, and 3-0 against community colleges.

D-I Fordham and D-II LIU Post finished first and second overall, respectively.

Four of USMMA's runners placed in the top 20 in a field of 166.  A total of four runners finished in under 28 minutes marking the first time in three years any Mariner has finished under 28 minutes in any 8K course.  Additionally, six Kings Point runners beat the fastest time run by a Mariner last year at the same event.

A total of nine Mariners broke the 29 minute barrier, which is has also not happened in a while for Kings Point.

Freshman John Weldon (pictured) had the best time for USMMA, placing 13th with a mark of 27:28.  Right behind him was his teammate, sophomore David McGowan with a time of 27:33.

Two more Mariners finished back to back with senior Daniel Baxter (27:43) placing 19th and freshman Andrew Walsh (27:46), last week's meet winner, placing 20th.

Rounding out the top five was freshman Brendan Dooley with a time of 28:13.

"This was by far the best race since I've been at the Academy," said Head Coach Greg Lott.  "Our depth is even stronger than I realized.  If the guys keep progressing in this nature, the rest of the conference better watch out."

USMMA will face stiff compettiton in two weeks at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh.  The field of compettition will feature schools from some the nation's leading conferences such as the Big East, Ivy League, Patriot League as well as top east coast Division-III programs.