Stephanie Cotter of Adams State was all alone at the finish of the NCAA Division 2 Cross Country Championship women's race in Sacramento, Calif.
College Roundup / By John Manley
Adams State’s trio of Irish women dominated the NCAA Division 2 Cross Country championship race in Sacramento, California on Saturday, pulling down the top three spots. Teammates also finished sixth and 11th, affording the Grizzlies an easy victory. Stephanie Cotter, a sophomore from Cork, was all alone at the finish of the 6,000-meters race, breaking the tape in 19:15.5. The Flanagan sisters of Gortin, Co. Tyrone were the next to show up – Eilish in 19:39.0 and her twin Roisin in 19:39.3. They are both seniors.
Adams State’s men’s team settled for second place in their race, lagging Colorado Mines, 78-128. Belfast junior Paddy Robb needed 31:59.9 to get the 10,000 meters. He was 149th to finish (265 runners started). St. Leo’s Shane Bracken, a sophomore from Foxford, Co. Mayo, took 79th place, timed in 31:20.8, while teammate Tadgh McGinty, a junior from Swinford, Co. Mayo, finished 235th in 33:30.4. Ezra Mutai of American International won the race in 29:31.2.
The Division 1 Championship races went off in Terre Haute, Indiana. Tulsa’s Peter Lynch, a junior from Kilkenny, got 13th place in the men’s race. He was timed in 31:04.3. Iona junior Jack O’Leary, from Killucan, Co. Westmeath, was 66th to finish, clocked in 31:37.4. Iowa State’s Edwin Kurgat ran a winning 30:32.7. In the team standings, Tulsa took fifth place, with Iona 12th. Brigham Young won the team title, despite having only one finisher in the top 10.
David Coffey made five stops in goal to help Lindsey Wilson defeat John Brown University, 4-1, in first-round NAIA tournament play in Columbia, Kentucky on Saturday. Coffey is a junior from Cork. The Blue Raiders are 14-3-1.
Evan Finnegan, a senior from Dublin, set up the first goal for Keiser in the Seahawks’ 3-2 win over Campbellsville in first-round play of the NAIA tournament in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Friday. Keiser (12-6-1) was eliminated in the next round on Sunday by William Carey.
Carey remained undefeated on the season at 14-0-5 with a 3-1 victory over Keiser on Sunday. Tim Doherty added a late insurance goal to advance Carey to the next round. He is a senior from Swords, Co. Dublin.
Aaron Molloy scored the first goal of the match in the 50th minute, but that would not hold up as Penn State lost, 3-2, in overtime to visiting Providence in first-round action of the NCAA Division 1 tournament on Sunday. Molloy, a senior from Dublin, scored on a shot from the top of the box that hit the inside of the post and fell in. He finished the season with nine goals for the Nittany Lions (12-4-3).
Heather Payne, a freshman from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, earned an assist on Florida State’s first goal of the match in a 2-1 win over South Florida in NCAA Division 1 tournament third-round play in Tallahassee on Sunday. The Seminoles (18-5-0) next face UCLA at home on Friday.
Mick D’Arcy’s Central Connecticut State Blue Devils reached the end of the road on Friday, when they dropped a 1-0 verdict to West Virginia in the second overtime period. Amanda McQuillan, a sophomore from Johnstown, Co. Meath, stopped four Mountaineer shots in goal for the Blue Devils (13-5-4), but was unable to contain a corner kick in the 105th minute.
North Carolina kept their slim hopes for a bowl invitation alive with a 56-7 blowout of Mercer in Chapel Hill on Saturday. Dublin freshman Ben Kiernan was called upon for five punts, the longest of which traveled 49 yards. His average punt carried 40 yards, with one that stuck Mercer inside its 20-yard line. The Tar Heels (5-6) finish the regular season on Saturday evening at North Carolina State (4-7). Of their six losses, two were in overtime and they’ve not lost by more than seven points this season.
Conor O’Sullivan had an all-around decent outing in Birmingham Southern’s 80-66 loss at home to LeTourneau on Saturday. The 6-4 guard out of Tower, Co. Cork scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor and 1-of-3 on foul shots, along with five rebounds and a game-high five assists. The Panthers are 2-5.
Adam Drummond paced Dickinson in the scoring column with 15 points in the Red Devils’ 80-60 road loss to Shippensburg last Tuesday. The 6-4 guard out of Cork connected on five of 12 field goal attempts (one of five from long range) and four of five free throws. He followed that with a 10-point effort as Dickinson (0-3) fell, 73-65, at Mount Aloysius. He chipped in 10 points, hitting three of nine shots from the floor (two of four from downtown) and both foul shots. He also got credit for four rebounds and three assists.
Claire Melia posted a game-high seven assists as visiting St. Joe’s lost, 66-62, to Auburn on Sunday. The 6-3 freshman from Monasterevin, Co. Kildare also came down with six rebounds and blocked two shots. She added four points for the Hawks (2-3) on 2-of-6 shooting.