Men’s Cross Country Attends 22nd Annual James Earley Invitational

Men’s Cross Country Attends 22nd Annual James Earley Invitational

WESTFIELD, Mass. – The men's cross country team came in 15th place of 37 teams in attendance at the 22nd Annual James Earley Invitational hosted by Westfield State at Stanley Park this Saturday (Oct. 7). Trinity earned the team win, while Plymouth State's Sam Brunnette earned the individual title, finishing the 8K in a time of 25:35.03.


October 7, 2017
22nd Annual James Earley Invitational
Stanley Park


1st Place: Trinity (74)
2nd Place: Williams (77)
3rd Place: Norwich (112)
4th Place: Amherst (121)
5th Place: Westfield State (150)
6th Place: Plymouth State (182)
7th Place: Colby-Sawyer (217)
8th Place: UMass Dartmouth (269)
9th Place: University of New England (344)
10th Place: Suffolk Community College (346)


15th Place: Worcester State (443)


51st Place: Christian Vera (28:13.47)
76th Place: Marques Johnson (28:44.09)
91st Place: Richard Custodio (29:02.71)
112th Place: Zack Lajeunesse (29:30.57)
122nd Place: Carlos Nieves (29:46.31)
133rd Place: Patrick Scheeler (30:02.68)
147th Place: John Shugrue (30:34.46)



The Men's cross country team made the effort to get the full squad up and running after battling the past few week with illness and a few nagging injuries to key individuals. For the most part, the team was successful seeing a good deal of progress in the races this week. The Varsity A team took 15th place out of 37 colleges represented in the competition.


The varsity A group was led by Christian Vera (Worcester, Mass.) who has taken on that role for several weeks now. He ran his fastest time to date on the course as did the Lancers' second finisher, Marques Johnson (West Hartford, Conn.). The third Lancer finisher was Richard Custodio (Wakefield, Mass.) who has continued to improve over the past several weeks while recovering from nagging pains that have plagued him. Also in the same situation were Carlos Nieves (Clinton, Mass.) and captain, Patrick Scheeler (Wakefield, Mass.), with Nieves running his first race in several weeks and Scheeler each week giving it his best effort despite not yet at 100%. Rounding out the top seven in the varsity A race were freshmen Zach LaJeunesse (Dartmouth, Mass.) and John Shugrue (Worcester, Mass.) who were moved to the varsity A group to gain experience in the more competitive race


The Lancers also ran a varsity B group which included Michael Ricci (Peabody, Mass.), Devin Luce (Milford, Mass.) and Joe Grider (Hopedale, Mass.) who all ran near the front of the second race to challenge themselves but run a controlled race.



Coach Al Halper commented, "We are coming off our first consistent week of training in several weeks. We got a number of solid performances from the squad today though the times are still not where we need them to be. However, with several weeks to go before the conference meet, I think we can come on strong by the championships, now that the training has resumed to a more intense level."


Halper went on to say, "There were two races today, in essence, a varsity A race and a varsity B race. I put several of our top seven in the varsity B race so they could test out their fitness without putting them in a situation where they would be tempted to race at 100%. The goal was to run a solid race but hold back a bit which is what they did."


Concluded Halper, "Next week, we plan to run all our top guys at the Conn College Invitational at Harkness Park in Waterford.  It will be a good test to see where we have progressed following a tough season to date. We have the talent to be a better team than we have been able to show. Our goal is to continue to improve and find the groove that will have us ready to compete at our best for the conference championships. The guys are confident that they can succeed in this goal. They continue to work hard daily with a focus and desire to get where they would like to be."


Next Saturday (Oct. 14) the Lancers travel to Harkness Park in New London, Conn. to take part in the Connecticut College Invitational.


Follow Worcester State Athletics on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube