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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Victory by O’Connor propels Jumbos to second place finish at Bowdoin

The men’s cross country team traveled to Maine on Saturday to compete in the Bowdoin Men’s Cross Country Invitational, finishing second overall behind NESCAC rival Bowdoin.

The highlight of the meet for the Jumbos came in the form of first place finisher, sophomore Luke O’Connor, who beat the pack by 12.5 seconds. O’Connor notched his first victory of his career with a time of 25:39.40, edging out Bowdoin’s Kevin Hoose.

“We were given a pace and told to say controlled, I was just very fortunate that one of my favorite parts of the course was where we were told we could go,” O’Connor said. “It feels good to get the win. But even if you have the best of races there’s always something you can improve upon.”

Tufts showed tremendous depth as a team, with 11 Jumbos finishing among the top 18 runners. Those finishes included senior co-captain Nick Guarnaccia and senior Joseph St. Pierre, who grabbed the seventh and eighth overall spots with times of 26:06.04 and 26:06.96, respectively.

The Polar Bears, however, had runners finish in the second through sixth spots to claim the team victory with an overall score of 20. Tufts finished a close second with a score of 35.

This meet foreshadows the strength of the NESCAC conference, headed by Williams, who was placed at No. 3 in the country in the preseason polls. O'Connor, though, is looking to other factors.

“I don’t pay attention to polling very much," O'Connor said. "We have a good group of guys and if we keep our nose to the grindstone it will take us far."

The team was happy with their overall performance, especially with claiming the first and seventh through eleventh spots overall. Other top performers included Tufts senior Marshall Pagano (26:08.20), junior Michael Curley (26:09.30) and senior Colin McCrory (26:11.12).

The Jumbos have this weekend off to work on conditioning and pacing, but will travel to Western Massachusetts in two weeks for the Purple Valley Classic at Williams College.