Riley Masters is focusing on balancing his time between three things this fall – his work as an exercise science major, his training with the Maine men’s cross country team and, as he says, “being a college kid.”

But now Masters is also focusing on the first title meet of the season, the America East championship Oct. 29 in Albany, N.Y.

And he’s keeping his team in mind in training.

“Right now the guys are getting in the fine-tuning work, tapering and lowering their mileage as they’re gearing up for the championship,” said Masters, a 2008 Bangor High graduate who has been the America East men’s cross country athlete of the week twice this season.

“That’s the race our team focuses on throughout the season and strives to do well at. Every team has the same goal, that they want to win the meet. It’s a very competitive atmosphere and when you’re there, you feel that championship atmosphere. I try to thrive off that.”

At the Oct. 8 New England championships in Boston, Masters finished second in the men’s race, completing the 8-kilometer course in 24 minutes, 34 seconds, behind  Glarius Rop of America International (24:12), and helped the Black Bears finish 10th in the 43-team field.

Earlier this season, Masters edged Rop by less than five seconds for the men’s individual title at the UMass Invitational in Amherst, Mass., finishing in 21:24.75.

But Masters has established himself as one of America East’s premier distance runners. For the past two indoor track seasons, Masters has competed at the NCAA Division I championships in the mile – as a sophomore in 2010 he finished fifth (4:04.29) and earned All-American status in indoor track – and in 2011 finished ninth (4:02.04).

“Cross country is a great base for indoor and outdoor track,” said Masters, who added he plans to redshirt this season in indoor track to pursue a fifth year of eligibility. “I can work more when I know the threshold and the pain tolerance of a longer distance.’

But he also uses each race and each high-caliber event as a learning experience.

“I try to bring back confidence from every time I race,” Masters said. “I know I was able to get there, and I try to inspire people who want to reach that goal. I use it to keep moving forward and to learn from those experiences.”

BRIAN FLYNN, a senior on the men’s hockey team, was named Hockey East player of the week. Flynn, a center, had a goal and four assists Oct. 9 in a 6-3 victory against Northeastern. … Danielle Ward, a senior forward, was named the Hockey East co-player of the Week.  Ward scored her 100th career point when she scored the winning goal Saturday in a 5-4 victory at then-No. 9 Quinnipiac, and finished with three goals in Maine’s two-game sweep. … The women’s hockey team is 4-0 and received nine votes in this week’s USCHO.com women’s top ten poll.

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

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