Lyndonville, VT - Both of the Northern Vermont University-Lyndon cross country teams look to be strong contenders for North Atlantic Conference honors this season. The women finished in fifth place at the NAC Championships a year ago, while then men came in in seventh position. Veteran head coach Chris Ummer returns for his 26th season guiding the women and his 24th leading the men.
Sophomores Rachael Valentine (Clarksdale, AZ) and Rachal Peatman (Cambridge, VT) and senior captain Alesha Donovan (Northwood, NH) are the top returning runners for the women. Freshman newcomer Zosia Prince (Sutton, VT) is expected to make an immediate impact.
Ummer made these remarks about the women's outlook: "This women's team is certainly a lot stronger than last year. Rachel Valentine and Rachal Peatman, along with senior captain Alesha Donovan are all looking very fit and strong. Those three and the addition of freshman Zosia Prince wil allow the women to compete with any team in the conference. UMaine-Farmington is the team that we'll be focused on."
On the men's side, senior Benjamin Cornell (Burrillville, RI) returns after a 2017 campaign which saw him take 13th place in the NAC Chamiponships and earn 2nd Team All-Conference honors. Freshman Anthony Pifari (Littleton, NH) is expected to make an immediate impact and contend for NAC individual honors.
Ummer said "With the addition of Anthony Pifari we'll have two very strong front runners. I believe that with proper training and rest this season this team can challenge Maine Maritime Academy at the NAC Championships."
The Hornets will open the 2018 season this Saturday at the Colby-Sawyer College Charger Invitational. The women's race is set to start at 10:30 am, with the men's race to follow at 11:15 am. The Hornets will host their first meet since 2012 when the Vermont State Intercollegiate Championships are run on the Lyndon trails on September 29th. The season will build to the NAC Championship meet, which will be run in Belfast, ME, on October 28th.