PAWTUCKET, R.I. - The Little East Conference (LEC) announced its 2017 men's cross country major award winners Thursday following a vote of the league's head coaches. Plymouth State junior Sam Brunnette (Newport, Vt.) was named the 2017 LEC Runner of the Year, while UMass Dartmouth freshman Bruno Pires (New Bedford, Mass.) was named the 2017 LEC Rookie Runner of the Year. The 2017 LEC Coach of the Year honor went University of Southern Maine's Ryan Harkleroad.
Brunnette was named the LEC Runner of the Year for the second year in a row, making him the second repeat recipient of the award. He was Plymouth State's top finisher in each of his four regular season races, which saw him cross the line first at Plymouth State's Short Course Opener (19:34) and Westfield State's James Earley Invitational (25:35.03).
Brunnette went on to win the LEC individual title for the second year in a row, crossing the finish line in 24:42.5, which is the third-fastest time ever recorded at the conference championship meet. It was his third all-conference performance in three years.
Pires was named the 2017 LEC Rookie of the Year after running in the top-two for UMass Dartmouth this season, and was the Corsairs' top finisher in four of five regular season races. He earned all-LEC honors for his sixth-place finish at the 2017 conference championship after posting a time of 26:00.1. Pires is the third UMass Dartmouth student-athlete to be named LEC Rookie Runner of the Year.
Harkleroad repeats as LEC Coach of the Year after leading to their second consecutive LEC title in 2017, the sixth in program history. He is the second repeat winner of the award, the first being former Husky head coach Scott Hutchinson (2010-11).