Enthusiasm is running extremely high for Head Coach Elizabeth Sullivan and her Massachusetts Maritime women’s cross country program heading into the 2017 season, as the Buccaneers welcome back experienced veterans and a mix of talented youth that will undoubtedly serve them well in making a run at the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.
Sullivan has named senior Kaylene Murphy (Randolph, Mass./Ursuline Academy) and junior Jill Ethier (Portsmouth, R.I./Portsmouth) as co-captains for the upcoming campaign, as the former Massachusetts Maritime standout describes the duo as “extremely dedicated leaders who are committed to sustained excellence in competition and in the Maritime community. They have been incredibly positive role models for their teammates through their inspiring work ethic, and they will both continue to guide our program on a successful course.”
Murphy, who also serves as co-captain of the Buccaneer softball team, recorded a 10th place individual finish and helped lead her squad to its first team title at the Lt. Travis J. Fuller Invitational last October alongside the Cape Cod Canal. Ethier also recorded a top 20 performance for Sullivan’s squad in the Fuller Invitational, as she and Murphy helped Massachusetts Maritime post four top eight performances in team competition last fall.
Sophomore Meaghan Hamilton (Braintree, Mass./Norfolk Aggie) is the top returning runner for Sullivan this season, as she set the pace in three races as a rookie that including claiming the individual title at the Travis Fuller Invitational. Fellow sophomore Heather Seggelin (Sharon, Mass./Sharon) enjoyed a solid and consistent rookie year in 2016 that included a fourth place finish at the Fuller Invitational, while juniors Sara Merzon (Rockland, Mass./Cardinal Spellman), Megan Young (New Bedford, Mass./Greater New Bedford Voke) and Jaleni Rodriguez (Brandon, Fla./Blake), along with sophomore Kayla Pieroni (Arlington, Mass./Arlington), provide additional depth and experience for the Buccaneers.
Senior Julia Staula (Sharon, Mass./Sharon), who shined for Massachusetts Maritime during her freshman season of 2014, is back with the program this fall, and she joins junior Rachael George (Mashpee, Mass./Mashpee), sophomore Catherine O’Brien (North Reading, Mass./North Reading) and freshmen Michelle Campbell (Weymouth, Mass./Norfolk Aggie) and Heather Ward (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) in looking to make an impact on the Buccaneers’ fortunes in 2017.
Sullivan’s squad will compete in six regular season invitationals at the University of New England, UMass Dartmouth, Gordon, Westfield State and Emmanuel while hosting the Travis Fuller Invitational at the Massachusetts Military Reservation in Bourne in late September. The Buccaneers will also compete for the MASCAC Championship at Westfield State on October 28th.
Massachusetts Maritime begins the 2017 campaign on Saturday, September 9th by heading to Biddeford, Maine to compete at the University of New England Invitational beginning at 10:45 a.m. EDT.