The Central Connecticut men's cross country team opened its 2013 season strong at the Sixth Annual Fr. Laurence O'Niel, S.J. Invitational on Saturday, tying host Fairfield for the win in the 5K. Three Blue Devils finished in the top 10 of the competition while junior Patrick Hubbell paced the squad, claiming first place overall with his time of 16:19.63.
Hubbell crossed the finish line over 13 seconds before his closest competitor, Riley Leder of Hofstra. Sophomore Matt Walker crossed second for the Blue Devils, he placed sixth overall with his time of 16:57.28. Freshman Thomas Lupoli claimed ninth place, registering a time of 17:20.38 and rounding out the top 10 for CCSU. Sophomore Andy Pullaro finished just outside of the top 10, claiming 11th overall with his time of 17:24.73.
Rounding out the scoring for Central was freshman Derek French who finished 22nd overall, crossing the finish line in 18:04.48. Freshman Joseph Gioielli, a standout for the Blue Devils during the 2012-13 track and field season, also competed in his first collegiate cross country meet, finishing 31st with a time of 18:43.61.
CCSU tied Fairfield for first place with 47 team points. The pair was followed by Stevens Institute (58) in third, and Hofstra (66) in fourth.
The Blue Devils will return home for their next meet when they host the 11th Annual Ted Owen Invitational on Saturday, September 21. The starting shot gun for the men's race is scheduled to go off at 11 a.m.