Anthony Salvucci Takes Individual Crown, Pride Finish Second at NEWMAC Cross Country Championships

Greg Fitzpatrick
Contributing Writer

The men’s cross country team finished strong at NEWMACs with a second-place finish.  The race in Northampton, Mass. was good competition for the Pride. They finished right behind MIT, who has won the invite the past 15 years.

Anthony Salvucci added to his great season with a first-place finish. He finished the race in 25:36.49.

“I couldn’t have asked for my last NEWMAC race to go any better than it did,” said Salvucci.

To add to his great season, he was also named NEWMAC Runner of the Year.

“It’s a big accomplishment that I get to check off my list,” Salvucci added.

Senior Ryan O’Connell also provided the Pride with a great finish. He finished right behind Salvucci in second place with a time of 25:50.84.

“It was really cool to finish first and second,” O’Connell said. “We wanted to win but were still happy with our finish.”

The team has really improved from every race.  Senior Zach Pietras continued with the Pride’s success by finishing 12th. Pietras joined Salvucci and O’Connell to join the NEWMAC All-Conference Team. Erich Voelker poured it on for the Pride by earning 16th place. To finish it out for the team was Matt Scully, who finished right behind Voelker.

There aren’t many flaws in this team right now. Their improvement has been remarkable. Coach Bryan Brown can’t be happier with the way things are going.

“I am pleased with the effort and heart that they put in,” said Brown.

He explained how the team has had no regrets from day one and they never look back. It has seemed to have worked out. The coach is very proud of the way Salvucci has performed from beginning to now.

“I’m happy for Tony. He has worked hard to get to the level he is at,” Brown said.

The team’s achievements can only get better with how they are performing every week. After talking to both Salvucci and O’Connell, they both agreed that the team has made it clear that they want to make nationals.

“We have been focusing on this goal since day one,” Salvucci said.

O’Connell believes that the team can have great success at regionals and be set up nicely for nationals.

“We want to get at least two guys in the top 10 for regionals,” O’Connell said.

The senior from Middleboro, Mass. has been battling injuries all season. He hasn’t been able to perform the way he exactly wanted to, but his contributions have been extremely important to the team. Being at nationals last year, O’Connell wants to repeat that and make even more of an impact.

This year’s squad is special. They have the capabilities to be even better by the end of the season. Their next journey is this weekend at Williamstown, Mass. for the ECACs. The Pride’s eight to 14 runners will be competing for glory.

The rest of the team will be on the quest for nationals and will take the week off of races. The regional race is on Saturday Nov. 10 at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass. This race will really show just how tough this team really is. If they continue with this success, nationals will be in their sight in no time.

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