Men's Cross Country Seeks Fourth Straight NEC ChampionshipHAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University men's cross country team will look for its fourth consecutive Northeast Conference Championship when its hosts the 12-team race Saturday at 11 a.m. This marks the second time in program history that Quinnipiac has served as the host for the conference championship and the first since 2004. The Bobcats will try and win their fifth title in six years with their first coming on the 8K Quinnipiac Cross Country Course in the 2004 season. Defending NEC Performer and Rookie of the Year sophomore Richard Klauber (Thomaston, Conn.) is coming off his first Road Runner Sports NEC Athlete of the Week honor of 2009 heading into the conference championships.
Klauber finished second overall at the CCSU Mini Meet on Oct. 24. His time of 15:11.83 paced all NEC runners on the short, 5K course, earning him his second career weekly accolade as the NEC's top runner. In finishing first at the 2008 NEC Championships, Klauber became only the second runner to be honored as the top performer and freshman in the same season in league history, joining Fairleigh Dickinson's Sam Chelanga in 2006.
Freshman Mike Levene (Redding, Conn.) has been the most consistent runner for the Bobcats this season. He has earned the league's Rookie of the Week honor on back-to-back occasions this season. He finished as the top Bobcat runner in three consecutive races in 2009, including an eighth-place finish at the Quinnipiac University Invitational on Sept. 19 and sixth at Lehigh's Paul Short Invitational on Oct. 2.
Not to be overlooked amongst first-year runners is Jamie Glover (Clifton Park, N.Y.). Glover was named the season's first Road Runner Sports NEC Rookie of the Week after an eighth-place showing in his first collegiate race that helped the Bobcats to a third-place team finish at the Stony Brook Invitational on Sept. 5.
Quinnipiac will also return three members of last season's NEC All-Conference Team. Senior Tyler Dinnan (Juneau, Alaska) will be joined by junior John Greenlaw (Hampstead, N.H.) and sophomore Dan Roark (Dracut, Mass.) as three of the four Quinnipiac runners looking to retain spots in the top 14 and a place on the all-conference team. In 2008, Greenlaw finished the five-mile course in 17:10 for ninth overall. Roark and Dinnan crossed the line 11th and 12th overall. Roark finished with a time of 27:12.0, edging Dinnan by two-hundredths of a second, 27:12.2
Quinnipiac's 52 points led the 12-team field at 2008 NEC Championships at Holmdel Park, N.J. Mount St. Mary's (76), Sacred Heart (102), Monmouth (103) and Wagner (126) rounded out the top five.
"The whole team is thrilled to be hosting the NEC championships this year," said head coach Carolyn Martin. "The men are ready to step up to the plate and defend their title on their own course. I am confident headed into this meet after their solid performance last week and look forward to the race."