COLCHESTER, Vt. – With junior Julia Morena (Boylston, Mass./Tahanto Reg. HS) and All-America grad student Tara Dooley (Lee, Mass./Lee HS) posting top ten finishes, the Bentley University Falcons ran to second place in the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Women's Cross Country Championships Sunday morning at St. Michael's College.
Bentley, forecast to finish seventh in a pre-race poll of conference coaches, posted its best finish since 2011 when the Falcons were also second. Coach Kevin Curtin's registered a score of 116, trailing only the 23 recorded by nationally ranked Stonehill College. The top five also included Assumption College (126), American International (140) and Merrimack College (143).
Morena, competing in her first NE-10 championship, finished fourth overall and earned first-team All-Northeast-10 honors after covering the 6,000-meter course in 22:43.5. She missed out on a top three finish by only six seconds while finishing behind two Stonehill runners, champion Nicole Borofski (21:48.8) and runner-up Aisha McAdams (22:32.0), and Southern New Hampshire's Laura O'Hanlon (22:37.6).
Dooley, running in her first cross country race since finishing fourth in the 2013 NCAA Division II Championships 23 months ago, was tenth in 23:03.9. It was the third career top ten showing for the 2011 and 2012 NE-10 runner-up, and gave her a spot on the All-Conference second team.
Three other Falcons also cracked the top 40 with sophomore Marianne Bartolotta (Wantagh, N.Y./Holy Trinity HS) 29th (24:07.1), classmate Courtney Loughnane (Canton, Mass./Canton HS) 36th (24:21.9) and junior Katie Burke (Braintree, Mass./Braintree HS) 37th (24:24.7). All three improved on their 2014 significantly with Burke climbing 27 spots, Bartolotta 38 and Loughnane 55 places.
Next up for the Falcons is the NCAA Division II East Regional in Hopkinton, N.H. on Nov. 8.