baltimore – The UMass Lowell women’s cross country team completed a three-peat Saturday in Baltimore, winning the America East Conference championship for the third year in a row. The men captured the conference title, as well, marking the third year in a row that the River Hawks have won the championship.
Senior Kenzie Doyle (Swansea, Mass.) set an individual and America East Championship record in the women’s 5k race, finishing with an outstanding time of 16:19.2 on her way to the individual conference title.
“Kenzie ran the best race of her life,” said the head coach Gary Gardner. “I’m very excited to see what he can do in the next few weeks.”
Doyle dominated the competition, taking the lead from the start. She was happy with her record-breaking performance, but more excited about the team’s victory.
“The record breaking time is news to me,” Doyle said. “I’m really happy with that. I’m really happy with the way the team performed the most. I remember crossing the line and trying to cheer everyone up. Once everyone was in, the most important thing for me was was that we won the meet. I was really happy with that, more than my individual title.”
Behind Doyle and joining her on the America East All-Conference First Team was graduate student teammate Izzy Geising (Bradford, Vt.), who finished fourth with a 16:59.6 mark. Sophomore Sarah Ross (Agawam, Mass.) finished eighth, posting a personal-best time of 17:37.4 and earning second-team all-conference honors. Ross’s finish made three River Hawks among the top ten runners. Ross also added the America East Cross Country Elite 18 Award to his collection, which honors the event medalist with the highest GPA. Ross has a 4.0 GPA in plastics engineering.
Overall, the women had five runners in the top 14 and seven in the top 25, as graduate student Caroline O’Shea (Nashua, NH) crossed the finish line in 11th place with a personal-best time of 17:44.2 and freshman Mary-Kate Finn ( Nashua, NH) finished 14th with a personal-best 18:00.9 mark, both also earning spots on the America East All-Conference Second Team.
Junior Mary Yount (Northampton, Mass.) and graduate student Rachel Sessa (Tewksbury, Mass.) completed the scoring for the River Hawks, as Yount finished 21st with a career-best time of 18:16.5 and Sessa cruised to a 25th-place finish. For a time of 18:24.8.
“Our women have completely exceeded my expectations,” Gardner said. “They put themselves in a great position and never gave an inch. It was amazing to see.”
For leading the teams to another sweep of the conference championship, the UMass Lowell coaching staff was named the 2022 America East Coaching Staff of the Year for both the men’s and women’s programs for the second year in a row.