CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton men's cross country team will hit the road tomorrow for the North Atlantic Conference Championship hosted by Husson in Bangor, Maine.
Castleton enters the race on a high note, winning their previous event, the Green Mountain Invitational, with a team score of 25. The Spartans took the top spot after placing five runners in the top ten. Grandon Smith paced the field, running a 26:31 to take home a first-place overall finish for the first time this season. Ben Girard crossed the line just 46 seconds behind him for a second-overall finish, while Jonah Lavigne finished third on the team and fifth overall with a time of 28:00. Alex Lauzon and Patrick Gilligan rounded out the team's top-five, with Lauzon finishing seventh overall and Gilligan placing 10th.
This will be the second time this season the Spartans run the Saxl Park course in Bangor, having competed in the Husson Harrier Invitational to open the season. In that event, New England College took home first place, while UMaine-Farmington placed second. The Spartans were fourth overall in the event, followed by Maine Maritime (5th), Thomas (6th), and Husson (7th). Smith paced the Spartans in the event, posting a time of 28:46, while Lavigne crossed the line second for Castleton at 30:30.
At last season's NAC Championship, Lyndon St. took home the title with a team score of 38 after placing four runners in the top ten. Colby-Sawyer finished second overall, with New England College behind them. The Spartans placed fourth in the event, which was hosted at Castleton, while UMaine-Farmington finished fifth. Girard tallied a top-ten finish for the Spartans in last season's NAC Championship, running a 27:24, while Smith finished second on the squad and 14th overall with a time 27:31.
Saturday's race will serve as a final tune up before the ECAC Championships, which will be hosted by Williams College (at Mt. Greylock H.S. in Williamstown, Mass.) on Saturday, November 7, and the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championships. The regional will be hosted by Connecticut College (Waterford, Conn.) on Saturday, November 14.