LANCASTER, Pa. – The SUNY Poly men's cross country team are champions again! The Wildcats traveled to Lancaster Bible College to compete in the 2016 NEAC Championship Race on Saturday and won for the fourth consecutive season. The team put up an impressive 34 points with their top five finishers coming in 2nd, 5th, 6th, 9th, and 12th place. The second place Penn State Abington team finished 31 points behind the Wildcats.
Senior Joseph Acey (Forestport, N.Y.) led the way for the Wildcats. He finishes the 8k course in 27:06.0 with an average mile of 5:27. He finished 23 seconds behind the lead runner Byron Evans from Morrisville State. Christopher Bouchard (Latham, N.Y.) and John Hohl (Webster, N.Y.) were the next two runners to cross the line in fifth and sixth place respectively. Bouchard finished with a time of 27:38.2 and Hohl finished less than a half a second later with a time of 27:38.6. Oliver Crain (Syracuse, N.Y.) was the next Wildcat across the finish line with a time of 28:08.2 for a ninth place finish. Rounding out the top five for the Wildcats was Derek Smith (Rochester, N.Y.). Smith placed 12th with a time of 28:38.2. The 34 point finish was the Wildcats lowest score in a championship since they hosted the NEACs in 2013.
The Wildcats garnered nine All-Conference Selections based on the race finishes. Joseph Acey, Christopher Bouchard, and John Hohl were selected to the NEAC First Team. Oliver Crain, Derek Smith, and John Balog (Rome, N.Y.) were selected to the NEAC Second Team. Ian Kurzrock (Woodbourne, N.Y.), Ashton Walters (Randolph, N.Y.), and Riley Christopher (Clifton Park, N.Y.) were selected to the NEAC Third Team.
SUNY Poly Coach Bill Tylutki was named the NEAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year following the race for the fourth consecutive season. This is his fifth NEAC Coach of the Year award since the Wildcats joined the NEAC in 2008.
The Wildcats will be back in action on November 12th when they will travel to take part in the Division III Atlantic Regional Race at Rowan University in Glassboro New Jersey. The race is scheduled for an 11:00 AM start.