HANOVER, N.H. – When the Dartmouth men’s cross country team steps up to the starting line of the New England Championship meet Saturday afternoon at Franklin Park in Boston, it will do so with a target on its back.

The Big Green will set out on the 8K course as the meet’s defending champion, having taken the 2012 team crown in the event’s centennial.

Dartmouth’s 83 points that day at Stanley Park were 40 better than second-place Boston College and 59 better than third-place Yale, helping lead the team to the title 100 years after taking the event’s inaugural crown.

Head Coach Barry Harwick ’77 will look to get solid performances from Nathaniel Adams, Tony Anzivino, Peter Geithner, Tim Gorman, Matt Herzig, Brian Masterson and Matthew Pierce.

Masterson is the top-returning runner from last year’s championship team, as he was 16th in 24:46 as a freshman.

Herzig and Adams are familiar with the Franklin Park course as both are Massachusetts natives who regard the park as their home course.

The men’s race will begin shortly after the conclusion of the women’s 6K run that will begin at 12:30 p.m.