HOPKINTON, N.H. – Felician University senior Connor Gillespie (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J./Hasbrouck Heights) concluded his career by setting a personal record for 10,000 meters, highlighting the Golden Falcons' trip to the NCAA Division II East Regional Men's Cross-Country Championship, hosted by Franklin Pierce University on Saturday morning at Hopkinton Fairgrounds.
Gillespie was running in the regional championship for the third time in his career. His time of 40 minutes, four seconds, on Saturday was 1:47 faster than his previous best 10K, established last year in the same event on the same course. Gillespie was Felician's No. 3 man, and placed 161st overall out of 169 entrants.
Felician sophomore Andre Francisco (Lyndhurst, N.J./Lyndhurst) improved 35 seconds from his 2015 regional performance. He placed 92nd overall in 35:13.
The Golden Falcons' senior frontrunner, Mike Secreti (Paramus, N.J./Paramus), was unsuccessful in his final attempt to attain all-Region status. The three-time All-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference performer led Felician with a 33:43 but placed 56th. The top 25 runners in the race were named all-East Region.
Due to an injury in their five-man pack, the Golden Falcons did not receive a team score. Freshman Mark Whaley (Wood-Ridge, N.J./Wood-Ridge) made his 10K debut and ran a 43:14.
American International College captured its third consecutive regional title. The Yellow Jackets totaled 49 points, 31 fewer than runner-up Stonehill College. Stonehill and Bentley University earned the East's other two automatic berths into the 2016 NCAA National Championship race.
AIC sophomore Leakey Kipkosgei was the individual champion, completing the course in 31:05.