By Leslie Crofton, Sports Information Intern


Rhode Island College’s 2001 men’s cross country team is expecting to have a solid season this year. With the Little East Conference/MASCAC Alliance Championship meet (Oct. 27) as the focal point of the season, the runners have been training hard to increase their mileage and improve upon what they accomplished last year. The team has already begun to do that even in the first few early season meets.     

The team has stepped things up since last year and should prove to be more competitive because of that.  Coach Dick Hoppman sites the fact that “the guys ran a full two to three minutes faster on the UMASS-Dartmouth course this year than they did last year, even this early in the season,” as evidence.  A core group of dedicated veterans coupled with some talented rookies are the impetus for this newfound intensity.

Junior Tim Rudd (Warwick, RI) and rookies Joe Parenteau (Smithfield, RI) and Mike Daniels (Warwick, RI) should lead the squad this season.  Rudd was the first Anchorman to cross the line in both of RIC’s first two meets, The CCRI Invitational on Sept. 8 and the UMASS-Dartmouth Invitational on Sept. 15.  He placed eighth out of 42 runners with a time of 28:56 and 63rd out of 191 runners with a time of 27:06, respectively. Parenteau is a freshman who followed close on Rudd’s heels in the CCRI Invitational, running 29:45 for 11th place. Daniels ran second to Rudd at UMASS-Dartmouth, placing 120th with a time of 28:36. Daniels transferred to RIC this year from The Community College of Rhode Island, where he earned NJCAA All-American honors in cross country.

Freshman Ruben Feliz (Providence, RI) and co-captains Nick Alfred (Wakefield, RI), a senior, and Chris Puleo (Barrington, RI), a junior, will also be top runners for RIC this season.  The seventh spot is still up for grabs and sophomores John Charest (North Smithfield, RI) and Joe Giardina (West Warwick, RI) currently stand a good chance of cracking the varsity lineup.

The team’s excellent camaraderie and high morale provide the ideal environment in which for these runners to thrive.  “My guys train together, they race together, they’re very supportive.  They have a real good work ethic and they want to run together as a team,” says Coach Hoppman.  “I’m a big mileage base guy, but the team won’t suffer overuse syndrome.  By the time we get to the conference championship they’ll be primed.  These kids will all set their PRs [personal record times] by the end of the season.”


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