PITTSBURGH, Pa. – For the second year in a row, Brandeis University junior Josh Lombardo (Westbrook, Maine/Westbrook) led the men's cross country team at the University Athletic Association championships, as the Judges finished in eighth place overall at the meet, hosted by Carnegie Mellon University at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh.
Lombardo finished in 44th place, dropping four spots in the rankings despite cutting 55 seconds off his previous-best performance and the meet. He covered the eight-kilometer course in 26:06.7. He was less than two seconds out of repeating his previous career-best at UAAs, his 40th place finish from a year ago.
The team's second runner was sophomore Matthew Driben (Reading, Pa./Wyomissing), who came in 50th overall with a time of 26:19.81. Driben improved by a minute and 45 seconds and 15 places in the standings over his rookie campaign.
Driben edged junior Mark Murdy (Plantsville, Conn. / Southington), who placed 51st and was 0.65 of second behind in 26:20.46. Murdy dropped seven places from his rookie season, after missing last year to injury, but improved his UAA time by 1:23 over his inaugural run.
Senior Dan Curley (Norwood, Mass. / Norwood) ran 27:22.25 in his final UAA cross country race, breaking 28 minutes for the first time and placing 65th, up three spots from a year ago.
Rookie Casey Brackett (Wakefield, Mass. / Wakefield Memorial) rounded out the top five runners for the Judges, covering the course in 27:40.28, good for 69th place overall.
A trio of seniors rounded out the field for the Judges in their final UAA cross country races: Alec Rogers (Wakefield, Mass./Wakefield Memorial), who was 71st in 28:00.5; Brian Gao (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton), who was 75th in 28:23.39; and Jacob Judd (West Hartford, Conn./Conard) who was 76th in 29:27.32.
The Judges' 232 points put them 43 behind NYU for eighth place.
Brandeis continues their season in two weeks with the NCAA Division III New England Regionals at Bowdoin College.