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New Face Up Front As Laframboise Claims 8K Win At Blazer Invite

New Face Up Front As Laframboise Claims 8K Win At Blazer Invite

CHICOPEE, Mass. — Freshman Braeden Laframboise (Southington, Conn.) set a new record for the fastest 8K time in program history, as the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's and women's cross country teams placed third and fifth respectively at the Blazer Classic Invitational, held at Chicopee Memorial State Park in Chicopee, Mass. Saturday morning.

The Blue Jays were without junior captain David Kavanaugh (West Hartford, Conn.), but that did not stop them from making noise as the team continues to make gains. The highlight of the day came from Laframboise, who captured his first-career win in the men's 8K. Even Kavanaugh doesn't have an 8K win to his name (yet). Laframboise did it in pretty convincing fashion, crossing the line in 28:52, 44 seconds ahead of the next closest runner. In doing so, he shattered the school record for a men's 8k event by nearly a minute over teammate Kavanaugh. On the women's side, junior captain Morgan Hall (Norfolk, Conn.) paced the Blue Jays with a 17th-place run in 29:49, as USJ claimed a fifth-place finish overall.

Event: Elms College Blazer Cross Country Classic
Results: USJ Men – 3rd of 5, USJ Women – 5th of 6 
Location: Chicopee Memorial State Park | Chicopee, Mass.

[Andrew Fink] "With our top runner, David [Kavanaugh] not going, I thought that this was a great opportunity for other runners to step up. They did that to support each other. If anything, it was a great learning opportunity as this was our first 8K, and that is what our Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship is. We had that post-race conversation about pace and distance, I think they learned a lot and I am glad it is out of the way now and not in the championship. If anything now, this is just normal for them. A lot of coaches and runners acknowledged us, and that is something that we have not had before. I think that was a sign of respect from our conference opponents. It says a lot about the direction we are trending. We are achieving our goals and are excited for October to get into full swing."

In the Men's 8K, Laframboise put together a sensational run in his first collegiate eight-kilometer event. The previous best finish for the Blue Jays on the men's side of the Blazer Invite was third by Eric Knox in 2018. He not only won the event convincingly, but he did so by shattering the school record, held by the man he's been chasing since arriving to USJ, his teammate Kavanaugh. Meanwhile, freshman Patrick O'Connor (Cheshire, Conn.) continues to impress, taking a solid 14th of 45 runners. All five scoring runners placed in the top half of the field. Western New England University took home the overall with just 32 points, followed by Regis with 47, and USJ with 76.


The Women's 6K saw junior Ashleigh Kelley claim victory for Regis in 23:45 (6:23 mile pace). Simmons and Regis, two fellow Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) schools, swept the top-five spots. Morgan Hall was the top runner for the Blue Jays in 17th of 48 runners, followed by her twin sister, junior Madison Hall (Norfolk, Conn.) in 24th. Madison finished in 31:55, just seconds behind the next two runners in front. The Sharks of Simmons claimed the overall with 30 points, followed by Regis with 43, and Lasell with 97. USJ landed fifth at 113.


The Blue Jays will have a week off before resuming their Western Mass swing, as they travel to Westfield, Mass. for the annual James Earley Invitational, held at the famous Stanley Park in Westfield. The action is expected to start at 12:00 p.m.

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