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Wildcat Cross Country Teams Combine for Best CACC Performance; Men Claim Fifth Title, Women Take Second

Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Frank Stallworth. October 28, 2018. CACC Championship at Belmont Plateau.
Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Frank Stallworth. October 28, 2018. CACC Championship at Belmont Plateau.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - For the fifth time in the last seven years, the Wilmington University men's cross country team has claimed the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Championship on Sunday on Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park, as the women tied their best ever finish by placing second overall.

The men finished with 47 points, beating the field of 14 teams by 25 points. Bloomfield finished second overall with 72 points. On the women's side, the Wildcats tied their best overall finish by earning 95 points to finish second overall for the second consecutive year.

The Wildcat men were led by the back-to-back CACC Runner of the Year Mark Corrigan (pictured, on right), as he claimed the CACC Championship by over 10 seconds. His time of 26:52.6 is the fourth fastest time at the CACC Championship at Belmont Plateau by a Wildcat.

Miguel Suero was the second Wildcat finisher, placing fifth overall with a time of 27:57.3. Freshman Garrett Checchi (pictured, on left) became the first CACC Rookie of the Year for the Wildcats since Ken Fontal's 2013 performance. Checchi was the top freshman finisher in the field, placing seventh overall with a time of 28:07.9.

Fellow freshman Brandon Cruz was the fourth scorer for the Wildcats, finishing 12th overall with a time of 28:28.2. Corrigan, Suero, Checchi, and Cruz were all named All-CACC for finishing in the Top 15 at the meet.

Senior Johnathan Avila anchored the Wildcats scoring with a 22nd place finish, crossing the line in 29:02.8 to complete the team's 47 points.

James Kennedy was 24th for the Wildcats with a time of 29:06.2 while sophomore Johnelle Joe rounded out the Wildcats on the course on Sunday with a 51st place finish in 31:16.3.

On the women's side, the race was again won by Post's Kendall Fitzgerald, claiming her third straight CACC Championship. She bested Wilmington's Althea Davidson CACC Championship record at Belmont Plateau by 1.2 seconds with a time of 18:58.8.

The Wildcats claimed a pair in the Top 10, led by senior Gabby Brown's sixth place finish in 20:42.2. That was a better time than her race at the 2016 CACC Championship on Belmont Plateau, improving upon her 22:16.2 time as a sophomore. Sophomore Alexa Crowell was on the heels of Brown, finishing seventh overall with a time of 20:47.6.

Both Brown and Crowell (pictured on right) were named All-CACC for finishing in the Top 15 at the Championship.

Freshman Grace Slate was the Wildcats' third scorer, placing 18th overall with a time of 21:27.1. Classmate Rosemary Gillam placed 24th overall with a time of 21:43.0 while sophomore Julia Merritt was the final Wildcat scorer in 40th overall with a time of 22:58.1.

Junior Emily Kockott finished 42nd overall with a time of 23:17.6 while freshman Allyson Kelly closed out the Wildcats on the course with a 58th place finish, crossing the line in 24:30.1.

Jefferson claimed the women's championship for the fifth year in a row, earning 56 points, 39 fewer than Wilmington. The Wildcats out-dueled Chestnut Hill by four points as the Griffins finished third overall with 99 points.

Both the men and women will head to the NCAA Division II East Regional Championship on Saturday, November 17. The Wildcats will head to Beth Page State Park Polo Field in Beth Page, New York, to take on the best amongst the East Region.