Nick Ross is off to a good start running with the La Salle University men’s cross country team.
Junior Ross, from East Greenwich (East Greenwich High), finished 16th out of 401 runners in the Gold Division race at last weekend’s Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, PA. His 8k time was 24:25 and it helped the Explorers finish sixth out of 47 teams.
Prior to that, Ross finished 16th out of 122 runners in the Main Line Invitational in Haverford, PA with a 4 mile time of 19:49.35.
“Nick is having a strong fall after red-shirting the indoor and outdoor seasons last year,” coach Dan Ireland said. “He is the top returning runner in the conference (Atlantic-10) after his fourth place finish in 2011.”
The A-10 Championship is Saturday, Nov. 2 in Richmond, VA.
“If Nick continues to train as he has been doing I think he will have a shot to win the individual title,” Ireland said. “And that would help us in our effort to win the team title as well.”
La Salle’s last prep before the league meet will be the Princeton Invitational Saturday, Oct. 19 in Princeton, N.J. The Explorers are idle this weekend.
MARCHAND ANCHORS DEFENSE
Senior Kevin Marchand is in his fourth season playing defense for the Cornell football team. The 6-foot-8, 274-pound defensive end from Wakefield (Choate Rosemary Hall) has nine tackles, a sack of 12 yards and a forced fumble for the Big Red. He entered the season with 51 career tackles.
“Kevin has improved over his four years as much as anyone we’ve had,” coach David Archer said. “He is a consistent starter and leader on the defensive line. He’s a hard worker who has learned to use his size and strength to make plays against the run and present a formidable obstacle against the pass.”
Cornell is 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the Ivy League and hosts league foe Harvard Saturday in Ithaca.
“For us to have success this season, Kevin will have to continue to make an impact for the defense,” Archer said.
GREENE CHIPPING IN
Freshman Abbey Greene is already making an impact on the Lyndon State women’s volleyball team. The 5-foot-9 outside hitter from Exeter (Exeter-West Greenwich) leads the team in digs (133), is second in kills (71) and third in service aces (23). She also has seven blocks.
“Abbey has a winning attitude, a great work ethic and is always willing to do what is asked of her,” coach Sean Fisher said. “As a freshman starter, I’m looking for her to help carry the team this year.”
The Hornets are 6-7 overall and 1-1 in the North Atlantic Conference.
“Abbey is a player that every coach loves to have,” Fisher said. “I look forward to having her for four years.”
HARTNETT DIGS VOLLEYBALL
Sophomore Kristin Hartnett of Wakefield (South Kingstown High) is a key member of the Suffolk women’s volleyball team. The 5-foot-4 defensive specialist leads the team in digs (134) and has 19 assists and 11 service aces. She’s had a team-high 13 digs in three games and has bettered double figures in three others.
“Kristin has been an incredibly positive force on our team,” coach Kristine Mickelson said. “She is always the one to cheer on others during drills and staying positive.”
Hartnett has played in all 18 matches and 66 of 67 sets for the Rams, who are 9-9 overall and 0-2 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.
“Kristin is a very talented athlete and we feel comfortable using her as a utility player when needed,” Mickelson said. “I see great potential for her to continue to grow as a volleyball player and help mold our defense.”
HONOR FOR KOEHLER
Anna Maria senior Jordan Koehler of West Warwick (West Warwick High) was named Eastern Coast Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week after a big game in a 49-0 loss to Catholic University. The 5-foot-10, 220-pound linebacker had 18 tackles, two for losses, and a fumble recovery. Last weekend, he had 17 tackles and two forced fumbles in a 35-24 loss to SUNY-Maritime.
“Jordan has been the heart and soul of our defense,” coach Vince Sinagra said. “He plays with great passion and elevates the play of others around him.”
The Amcats are 1-3 overall and 0-1 in ECFC play.
“He should be one of the defensive standouts in the conference,” Sinagra said. “I wish I had many more like him.”
HENSELER FITS RIGHT IN
Freshman Tyler Henseler of Coventry (Bishop Hendricken) has worked his way into the top seven with the nationally-ranked Stonehill men’s cross country team. He finished 20th out of 130 runners, fifth best on his team, at the 45th annual Codfish Bowl recently at Franklin Park in Boston. His 8k time was 27:02 and it helped the Skyhawks finish second. Earlier this season, he finished eighth out of 81 runners to help Stonehill, ranked 23rd in Division II, capture the Shacklette Invitational in Manchester, NH. His 8k time was 27:52.2.
“Tyler has adapted to the team and the training very well,” coach Karen Boen said. “It doesn’t seem possible that he has only been on the team for a little over a month. He has great work ethic, a competitive attitude and has become a great teammate.”
The coach said that she has athletes who train enough and others who train too hard. She said that Henseler falls into the second category.
“That has earned him both my respect and the respect of his teammates,” Boen said. “He is being challenged by the older guys daily and has embraced the challenge. I’m confident he will develop nicely.”
MASON AN ALL-AROUND PLAYER
Junior Tracey Mason has started all nine games for the Mercyhurst field hockey team. The 5-foot-4 midfielder from East Greenwich (East Greenwich High) is a defensive standout but has also picked up an assist for the Lakers, who are 4-5 overall.
“Tracey is a dynamic, smart player who has evolved into one of the strongest playmakers on the team,” coach Stacey Gaudette said. “Her dribbling skills combined with her field hockey IQ and intensity has allowed her to dominate in the midfield.”
The coach calls Mason an all-around talented player.
“Tracey serves as an inserter on offensive corners and on our defensive corners as well,” Gaudette said. “She is an inspiration to her teammates and serves as a leader both on and off the field.”
Bill Arsenault is a freelance columnist for Southern Rhode Island Newspapers.