The Central Connecticut men's cross country team captured their third consecutive Northeast Conference Championship on Saturday. Senior Sam Alexander who claimed the individual title and junior Craig Hunt, who was the runner-up, led the Blue Devils. Central posted a team score of 54 points to earn the victory over second place St. Francis (PA).
Alexander and Hunt finished second and third at the 2010 NEC meet. Alexander and Hunt were able to each move up a spot in the 2011 race. Despite difficult conditions, Alexander posted a 25:59.10 time. He was followed closely by Hunt who ran the 8K course in Holmdel, NJ, in 26:06.90.
The Blue Devil duo was 30 seconds ahead of the third place finisher, Jeffery Lusignan of Sacred Heart.
In total, five Blue Devils finished in the top-20 and six in the top-25. Senior Jeremy Schmid finished 12th, freshman Andy Pullaro took 19th and senior Ben Lazarus placed 20th to finish the Blue Devils score. Schmid posted a 27:11.30 mark, Pullaro a 27:27.00 and Lazarus a time of 27:28.70.
Central's 54 points put them 13 points ahead of second place St. Francis (PA). Mount St. Mary's, the host Monmouth and Robert Morris filled the top-five.
The victory marks the third men's cross country championship in three seasons for Coach Eric Blake. Blake also led the men's indoor track and field team to a NEC Championship last winter.
In addition to being the third straight team victory, it also marks the second consecutive individual title for the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils will look to continue their individual and team success at the NCAA Regional held in Buffalo, NY, on Nov. 12.