Smith Places 11th at DIII New England Region Championship

Smith Places 11th at DIII New England Region Championship

GORHAM, Maine – Grandon Smith captured an 11th place finish out of 370 runners at the Division III New England Region Championships on Saturday, leading the Castleton men's cross country team to a 29th place finish as a team in the eight-kilometer race at Gorham Country Club hosted by Southern Maine.

Smith crossed the line with a time of 25:43.1, a tenth of a second behind the ninth and 10th place finishers and just 21 seconds off the leader's pace. The senior will await Sunday's NCAA release to see if he has earned a bid to the National Championships, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 18, in Elsah, Ill. The NCAA will issue a press release Sunday afternoon at approximately 1 p.m. with the individual qualifiers for the championship.

Freshman Gannon McKearin capped a strong rookie campaign with an 84th place finish and a time of 26:56.7 to cross the line in second for Castleton. Jared Wheeler came in 184th place after clocking in at 29:03 to round out the Spartan top three in the race. Carter Kline earned a time of 31:48.9 to place 292nd, while Oliver Rodgers earned a time of 32:51.7 and Jacob Peet claimed a time of 37.17.1.

The Spartans placed 29th out of 55 teams with a score of 864 points, five points behind Gordon for 28th. MIT claimed the regional title with five runners inside the top 30 to score 81 overall. Amherst placed second with 91 points behind four top 30 runners, while Middlebury came in third with 124 overall points. Williams (137) and Bates (211) rounded out the top five in the race.