NE10 comes to St. Michael’s

St. Michael’s men place 9th and women place 10th in race

Caleb Nelson | Staff Writer |

For the first time in seven years, St. Michael’s hosted the Northeast-10 Conference (NE10) cross country Championship on Sunday, Nov. 6, “It’s exciting for us to serve as the host institution for this event,” said Director of Athletics Chris Kenny. “This championship is an event that is open to all cross country teams from member schools of the Northeast-10 Conference.” All 13 schools in the NE10 competed. Athletes such as Noah Taracena ’24 and Katie Culliton ’24 made the NE10 weekly honor roll earlier in the semester for both men and women cross country. Along with all this success from the cross country team on and off the field, head coach Molly Peters hopes one day there can be an Equal Distance race at the NCAA East Regional Championship.
“I think we are very determined people, and when you are an endurance athlete you go through hard times and just have to push through,” said Culliton, a member of the women’s cross country team.

The men’s 8k started at 11 a.m. and the women’s 6k at 12:15 p.m. The course started in the 300s field, wound through Gilbrook, then ended in the 300s field again. Sophomore runner Jonathan Volpe from Southern Connecticut State University came in first place for the men’s 8k with a time of 24:39.3. For the women’s 6k Ashley Corocran, a senior from Southern New Hampshire University, came in first place with a time of 21:26.7. For St. Michael’s Noah Taracena came in 28th with a time of 27:19.9. Katie Culliton cracked the top 25 with a time of 24:04.5. Overall the women finished in 10th place and the men finished in 9th place. After the race, the athletes and their families got to socialize at a barbeque right behind the library.

Peters, the coach for both men and women cross country, and nordic skiing, is the founder of the Equal Distance group. She founded the group in 2020 with hopes to equal the playing field between men and women runners. The Equal Distance group is lobbying the NCAA to allow men and women to run equal distances. As of right now the women run either 5k or 6k for their races whereas the men run 8k for regular and 10k for regional.

“I want women to feel equal when they are doing a sport they love,” Peters said. This year was the first time where both the men and women competed in both a 5k and 8k races against each other. There was one equal distance race held on September 25 and then there were two 5k races for both men and women at Adelphi University in New York. “ For Saint Mikes as a whole, I think equal distance represents how we are a trailblazer, and Saint Mikes as an institution has been very supportive of Molly and her fight for Equal Distance,” said Cailey Comisky ’23.

Everyone prepares differently for races. “A few days before I start drinking a ton of water, and the night before I will carb load by eating a ton of pasta, and then I will try and get to bed as early as I can. The morning of my race I will eat oatmeal and a banana,” said Patrick Mcgloine ’25. According to Comisky, the women’s cross country team captain, the week of a race the team will have a big work out on the race course. “You almost want to feel like you are held back for the rest of the week,” said Comiskey. “It’s kinda nice first of all because I can wake up in my own bed, but it’s cool because we get to greet the teams and show them the course.” Normally when the team travels to a different location they will walk the course as a team before the race starts. This time they did not have to as they had the advantage of knowing the course very well.

Culliton explained how endurance sports and academics go hand in hand. “When you are an endurance athlete you’re going through hard times and just powering through. You’re in a race, yes you’re in pain but, you just have to keep going,” Culliton said.