By John Manley
Providence College’s Keith Kelly won the NCAA Men’s Division I Cross Country Championship at Ames, Iowa, on Monday. The senior from Drogheda completed the 10,000-meter course in 30:14.5, with Fairleigh Dickinson’s Stephen Ondieki less than two seconds behind him.
The University of Arkansas, coached by Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, native John McDonnell, won their 11th team title and their third straight. The Razorbacks didn’t place a finisher in the top 10, but displayed a depth that enabled them to outscore Colorado, 83-94. Arkansas’ top five finishers(those used for scoring purposes) placed 11th, 13th, 16th, 24th and 34th.
It should be noted that because several runners competed as individuals, they did not accrue points for the team championship. For example, Ondieki ran without any teammates. Thus, Arkansas’ James Karanu, the 11th finisher, was scored as if he finished 10th.
To say that conditions in Ames were cold and windy might be charitable. Temperatures were in the teens and wind chills produced readings below zero.
Ray Treacy’s Providence squad, with 121 points, placed third behind Colorado. Dermot Galvin contributed a 20th-place finish to the Friars’ cause. The Kilrush, Co. Clare, junior’s time was 30:52.3. Senior Larry Morrissey from Waterford was No. 100 to finish and he did it in 31:46.1
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Iona’s Vinny Mulvey, a senior from Ashbourne, Co. Meath, finished 41st in 31:09.0. The Gaels’ Tom Carey, a senior from Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, placed 107th in 31:48.6. Mick Byrne’s Iona runners were 15th in the team standings. Brown’s Enda Johnson, a junior from County Monaghan, came in 68th, with a 31:27.1 clocking. South Florida’s Barry Egan showed up 195th in 32:33. Egan is a junior from Caher, Co. Tipperary.
Villanova, coached by Marcus O’Sullivan, finished sixth with 181 points.
The West was best in the women’s race. Colorado, Brigham Young and Stanford finished in that order. Providence settled for ninth place, while Villanova was further down in 20th.
The Friars’ Kathryn Casserly, a junior from County Galway, finished 81st among 252 women. Her time was 21:51.4. Teammate Roisin McGettigan, a sophomore from Co. Wicklow, placed 145th in 22:21.6. Villanova’s Geraldine McCarthy, a senior from Listowel, Co. Kerry, came in 171st in 22:35.2.
The University of San Diego is seeded fourth in the College Bowl, also known as the NCAA Div. I soccer playoffs. Seamus McFadden’s Toreros had to work hard to stay alive to see the second round. They finally pushed the ball into the goal in the 11th minute of the first overtime period with UCLA and that’s all the scoring there was from those two units. San Diego now takes on Creighton at home on Saturday. The Toreros, whose coach is from Donegal, are now 21-1.
Clemson advanced to the round of 16 in the NCAAs with a 3-2 victory over Furman. The Tigers (14-3-2), coached by Belfast native Trevor Adair, host Connecticut on Saturday.
UConn has already victimized one Irish coach in the College Bowl. Fran O’Leary’s Dartmouth squad were 3-0 victims of the Huskies in the first round. The Big Green and their Dublin-bred coach called it a season with a 12-6-0 mark.
The College Bowl was short and anything but sweet for Boston College coach Ed Kelly. The Dubliner’s Eagles (12-7-1) were eliminated by Rhode Island, 3-0. The Rams (17-5-1), with Belfast junior Gareth Elliott in the lineup, next face North Carolina.
Vermont’s season ended with a 2-0 loss to Brown. Roy Patton’s Catamounts turned out the lights on a 13-8-1 campaign. Patton is from Belfast.
Norwich University was eliminated from the NCAA Div. III playoffs by Plymouth State, 3-1. Gavin Woods, a senior from Belfast, became the school’s all-time leading scorer when he directed the ball past the Plymouth goalie, late in the second half. Norwich (14-4-1) was hampered by the absence of freshman midfielder Barry Reid of Belfast, who saw only limited action in the second half due to a leg injury.
Reid was named to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference’s All-Conference first team. He finished the season with five goals and eight assists. Woods was slotted on the second team, having scored eight goals and eight assists.
Susan Moran’s junior season began with mixed results. St. Joe’s of Philadelphia defeated Penn, 81-75, with the young lady from Tullamore, Co. Offaly, scoring 14 points. Her output was limited, however, by early foul trouble, and she played only 20 minutes. She shot 5-for-7 from the floor and 4-for-6 from the foul line. She also grabbed six rebounds. Moran and St. Joe’s spend this weekend in California, where they face Stanford on Friday and Southern Cal on Sunday.
Azusa Pacific lost its season opener to Dillard University, 75-67. Gary Dredge put up two points for the Cougars, who are ranked No. 8 in the NAIA. Dredge, a 6-foot-8 center, is a junior from Clondalkin, Co. Dublin.