Nichols Wins NCAA Men's Cross Country Regional, O'Connor Third as Team Takes Fifth

WESTFIELD, Mass. – Tufts University senior co-captain Tim Nichols won the NCAA Division III Men's Cross Country New England Regional championship in a course-record time over eight kilometers at Stanley Park on Saturday afternoon.

Nichols crossed the line in 23:54.58, 26 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Matt Deyo from MIT. Nichols' time sets a course standard for both the NCAA Regional at Stanley Park, which has hosted the event on four occasions, breaking the mark of 24:21.0 set by Trinity's Ryan Bak in 2002. It also sets a collegiate standard for the course, which was formerly held by Mike Biwott of NCAA Division II American International College at the 2012 NEICCA Championships. Nichols added today's Regional title to the NESCAC conference crown he won two weeks ago.

Deyo held Jumbo senior Luke O'Connor at bay for the second spot in 24:28.38, while O'Connor crossed the finish line third in a 24:32.45 time.

The Tufts pair led the Jumbo team to a fifth-place finish at the meet. MIT and Williams tied for low score with team totals of 110, but the Engineers won the tie-breaker to earn the regional championship. Both teams automatically advance to the NCAA Division III National Championship next Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky. Amherst finished third with 141 points, followed by Middlebury (153), Tufts (159) and Colby (167). Those teams will await the announcement of at-large berths into the NCAA Championship race expected tomorrow.

Nichols and O'Connor were among the top 35 runners who earn All-Region honors from the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Overall 384 runners and 56 teams competed at the regional championship meet. 

Sophomore Jumbo Brian Reaney just missed All-Region honors by placing 37th at the race with a 25:32.98 time. Sophomore Christian Swenson scored fourth for the Jumbos and was 52nd overall (25:47.68), while classmate Dylan Jones took fifth for Tufts and 66th overall in 26:00.14.

Also competing for Tufts at the Regional was sophomore Andrew Doherty Monro, who came across the finish line in 26:31.23 for 104th place. Junior Samuel Little was 117th overall in 26:48.05.

Portions of recap courtesy of Westfield State University