With a spectacular home crowd and familiar home course in its favor, the Central Connecticut women's cross country team was named the 2017 Northeast Conference Runner-Up on Saturday at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, CT after an impressive overall team effort. CCSU finished with 43 points behind the 2017 NEC Champions Sacred Heart, with 24 points.
Blue Devil rookie standout, Megan Brawner was named the 2017 Northeast Conference Women's Cross Country Freshman of the Year as the first freshman finisher in the finals in 11th place with a time of 18:21.8.
Junior Dawn Hubbell was the surprise runner of the 5K race for Central. Hubbell paced CCSU for the entire 5,000 meter course, and crossed the finish line in third place in an all-out sprint with Sacred Heart's Tara Connelly. Hubbell ended with a time of 18:02.4 to lead the Blue Devils.
In her first competition of the 2017 cross country season, the defending NEC individual champion Brittany Mendelson was the next Blue Devil in in seventh place with a stifling time of 18:11.3. Junior Madeline Mondo, who has led Central in the majority of its meets prior to the NEC's, followed Mendelson in ninth place with a mark of 18:16.1.
Freshman Angie Rafter kept up with Brawner in the middle pack of the race and finished 13th overall with a time of 18:32.8.
Freshman Kaitlyn Stevens completed the home course in 20:08.3 in 47th place and junior Morgan Ricci trailed in 50th place at 20:25.2. Rounding out the eight CCSU women's representatives were rookies Kailyn Accetura and Shannon Thompson. Accetura turned in a time of 21:45.5 and Thompson finished at 22:26.20.
Sacred Heart senior Kate Svensen was named the 2017 Northeast Conference Most Oustandind Performer after winning the title race in a time of 17:34.3.
Saint Francis U. placed third as a team followed by Bryant (4), Fairleigh Dickinson (5), Robert Morris (6), Mount St. Mary's (7), LIU Brooklyn (8), Wagner (9) and St. Francis Brooklyn (10).