Men's cross country finishes third at UAAs, best since 2006

Ryan Stender '18 (right) and Mitchell Hutton '18 (left) led the Judges at the 2016 UAA Cross Country Championships at Emory (photo courtesy Emory sports info)
Ryan Stender '18 (right) and Mitchell Hutton '18 (left) led the Judges at the 2016 UAA Cross Country Championships at Emory (photo courtesy Emory sports info)

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Brandeis University cross country teams had a terrific performance at the 2016 University Athletic Association championships today hosted by Emory University. The Judge men finished third out of the eight teams, their best finish since 2006.

The Judges scored 96 points to finish in third place behind co-champions Carnegie Mellon and Washington University, who each scored 58. The Tartans and Bears are ranked 10th and 13th nationally, respectively. Brandeis finished ahead of 18th-ranked NYU (121 points) and 22nd-ranked Emory (134 points). The Judges had placed seventh a year before and had only been as high as third once since winning their last UAA title in 1998.

Leading the way for the Judges was junior Ryan Stender (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) who finished in second place overall, Brandeis's best finish at UAAs since Paul Norton '11 placed second in 2009. Stender covered the eight-kilometer in 24:46.48, finishing just two seconds behind champion David O'Gara of Washington University. Stender ran a lifetime for 8K best time by two seconds. He improved on his previous UAA performance from 2014, when he finished in 35th place. Stender missed last year's race due to injury.

Brandeis's second runner was junior Mitchell Hutton (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park), who ran 24:54.34, breaking the 25 minute mark for the first time in his collegiate career. Hutton's previous career mark for 8K was 25:17, set two weeks prior. Hutton had been the Judges' top runner at UAAs in 2015, when he came in 16th and finished just out of All-Association honors.

Stender and Hutton are Brandeis's first first-team All-UAA runners in men's cross country since Norton took third in 2010 and the Judges' first All-Association runners for the men on either team since Ed Colvin '13 in 2012. The last time the Judges had two top-14 runners was in 2011 (Chris Brown '12 and Marc Boutin '12), while the last time they had multiple first-teamers was during the championship year of 1998 (Greg Foley, Rusty Nelson, Robert Olson).

Brandeis's third-place finisher was senior Quinton Hoey (Watertown, Conn./Watertown), who came in 22nd overall with a time of 25:24.70. Hoey's previous best performance at UAAs was 36th overall last year as he trimmed 21 seconds off his previous lifetime best 8K mark. Hoey was the Judges' third runner for the third year in a row.

Junior Liam Garvey (West Springfield, Mass./West Springfield) came in fourth for the Judges with a time of 25:27.61. The team's second runner a year ago, he still improved his placement from 2015 by coming in 24th, an improvement of seven places. Classmate Brian Sheppard (Whitman, Mass./Whitman-Hanson Regional) rounded out the Judges' top five with a mark of 26:24.45, good for 49th place and a six-spot improvement from 2015. Senior Brad Payne (Westport, Conn./Staples) and rookie Samuel Reich (New York, N.Y./H.S. of American Studies at Lehman College) rounded out the team's top seven, placing 66th and 69th, respectively, with times of 27:26.25 and 27:42.71. Junior Russell Santos (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) was the team's final runner in 74th place and a time of 28:10.76.

The Judges return to action in two weeks at the NCAA New England Regional Championships at Westfield State University.