Men's Cross Country Season Outlook

Sept. 1, 2006

Providence, RI - The men's cross country team opens the 2006 season with a deep roster of strong returning members. It will be the first full year of coaching the men's team for XC/Track Director Craig Lake, and the Bears anticipate making great strides after thriving in 2005 despite the transition. The squad took third last year at the Ivy/Heptagonal Championship, an improvement from 2004's fourth-place effort. While 2005 champion Dartmouth returns a talented team that took 15th at the NCAA nationals, Brown is expected to round out the top three, along with Princeton.

Bruno will miss Owen Washburn, who took second at the Heptagonal Championships last fall, but senior captain Chris Burke (Ann Arbor, MI) is expected to step up and similarly compete for the individual title at Heps. Burke was Brown's second finisher at Heps last fall, crossing the line in eighth place at 24:54 to earn second-team All-Ivy honors. Burke followed up that performance by scoring in the 5,000 meters at Heps during the indoor track season, then taking second in the 10,000 meters outdoors (30:33).

The talent of the class of 2007 runs deep, as the harriers also return Neil Hamel (Cumberland, RI), Nick Neely (Portola Valley, CA) and Eamon Quick (Phoenix, AZ) from the 2005 Heps lineup. Hamel found success in the steeplechase in the spring, as did Neely in the 10,000 meters, each scoring at outdoor Heps. Hamel is the second returner from last fall's championships, where he placed 19th overall (25:22), en route to earning the team's most improved award. Neely had early season success and paced the Bears at last fall's opening meet, clocking 25:10 at the Dartmouth Invitational and finishing only seconds behind eventual Heps individual champion Ben True. He also scored in the 10,000 outdoors with his time of 30:40. Quick served as the Bears' sixth man at Heps, taking 41st with a 25:51 finish.

Juniors Ozzie Myers (Chittenango, NY) and Nick Sarro (Chatham, NY) also saw success in the steeplechase and middle distance events, with Myers breaking into the top ten in the 3,000-meter run (8:14) and continuing on to score at Heps. Sarro, back on the cross country course, ran as the fifth man (25:32) on the squad that won the New England Cross Country Chanpionships.

A pair of sophomores, Brian Schmidt (West Hempstead, NY) and Stephen Chaloner (Merrimack, NH) survived the trials of their rookie campaigns and will add depth to the XC squad this fall. Chaloner was the Bears' seventh man at the 2005 Heps (25:57) and the Brown rookie of the year. Schmidt enjoyed success with his debut 5,000-meters on the outdoor track (15:06).

Among this year's freshmen, Coach Lake hopes to see several members contribute, especially Colin Brett (Easton, PA). The jump from 5,000 meters in high school cross country to 8,000 and 10,000 meters for males in the NCAA often makes for a hard adjustment period for freshmen, but Lake expressed confidence in the talent of this season's rookies.

The Bears' 2006 campaign gets underway Sept. 8 at Franklin Park in Boston, where the Bears will compete in the Boston University Invitational. The Heptagonal Championships will be Oct. 27 at Van Cortlandt Park in New York City.