PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The Little East Conference (LEC) announced its 2018 men's cross country major award winners Thursday following a vote of the league's head coaches. Plymouth State University senior Sam Brunnette (Newport Center, Vt.) was named the LEC Runner of the Year, UMass Dartmouth freshman Carlos Rivera (Lowell, Mass.) was named LEC Rookie Runner of the Year and University of Southern Maine head coach Ryan Harkleroad was named LEC Coach of the Year.
Brunnette was named the LEC Runner of the Year for the third consecutive year after once again placing first overall at the Little East Championship, crossing the finish line in 26:42.9. It was the third race win of the year for the All-American, who was also first to finish at Westfield State's James Earley Invitational and UMass Dartmouth's Corsair Classic. He was runner-up at Williams College's Purple Valley Classic. Brunnette is the first student-athlete in conference history to be named the LEC Runner of the Year three times.
Rivera was named the LEC Rookie Runner of the Year after posting a sixth-place finish at the 2018 Little East Championship with his time of 27:40.09. He was among the Corsairs' top-three finishers in each of his four races so far this season. This marks the second straight year a UMass Dartmouth runner received the award after sophomore Bruno Pires (New Bedford, Mass.) received the honor in 2017.
Now in his sixth season leading the program, Harkleroad was named LEC Coach of the Year for the third time in as many years after guiding the Huskies to their third consecutive Little East Championship in 2018. It was the seventh team championship in program history, with the first coming in 2006.