Men’s Cross Country Team to Open 2017 Season on Saturday
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy men’s cross country team will begin its 2017 campaign this Saturday morning with competition at the Salisbury Fall Classic. The meet is scheduled to kick off at 9:45 a.m.
The Mids are coming off one of the most successful seasons in recent history as the program won its eighth Patriot League title in October before finishing second at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship and qualifying for the program’s 11th NCAA Championship appearance. At the 2016 NCAA Championship meet in Terre Haute, Ind., the Mids finished with a 26th-place result.
While deep senior class led the team in 2016, the Mids will look at five high-level contributors to return and lead the way, as a strong group of freshmen athletes will look to acclimate themselves to collegiate action. Senior captain Cory Donley has been and will continue to be looked upon to lead Navy’s team both in and out of competition. As a junior last season, Donley raced eight times and finished as one of the Mids’ top-seven runners in all eight events. His best results, included a fourth-place finish at the Army-Navy Star Meet and fifth-place times at the Navy Invitational and Cappy Anderson Invite. He is joined in the senior class by Gabriel Collison, who competed in three events last fall highlighted by an eighth-place finish in the Star Meet. Josh Hanna rounds out Navy’s three-man senior class. Hanna appeared in three early-season races for the Mids and finished sixth at the Cappy Anderson Invite in 2016.
The sophomore duo of Jake Brophy and Kevin Murray showed off their potential in 2016 immediately as they came out of the gate at the Salisbury Fall Classic and finished back-to-back with Brophy coming in first and Murray second. Brophy competed with great consistency throughout his freshman season and was amongst Navy’s top-five finishers in seven of eight events. In consecutive events, the Star Meet and Patriot League Championship, he recorded top-10 overall results with a third versus Army and a ninth at the conference meet. Following the season-opening Salisbury Classic, Murray competed four more times last fall with a ninth-place finish versus Army and an 11th-place result at the Patriot League Championship leading the way.
For their top-14 results at the Patriot League Championship, Brophy, Murray and Donley all garnered Second Team All-Patriot League nods last fall.
The Navy squad welcomes a host of newcomers to the program in 2017 with Quinn Schneider and Ben Cracraft leading the way this preseason. Schneider joins the Mids after a standout cross country and track & field career in the Charlotte, N.C. area. In North Carolina state championship action, he won both the 2015 and 2016 NCISAA 1A State Championships after finishing runner-up in 2014 as a sophomore. Cracraft honed his skills in Michigan and garnered all-conference, all-county and all-state honors following his junior and senior seasons.
2017 USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Preseason Rankings
1-Georgetown (16th nationally)
2-Navy (31st nationally)
15-Saint Francis U.