WASHINGTON - The Georgetown cross country program opened the 2012 season splitting sites with the women traveling to Hanover, N.H., for the Dartmouth Cross Country Invitational while the men went to State College, Pa., for the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. The women finished first among five teams with 33 points followed by host Dartmouth (57), BIG EAST opponent Syracuse (67), league opponent Connecticut (78) and Middlebury (154). The men's team finished second of nine teams with 57 points. Princeton took the top spot with 25 points while host Penn State took third with 78 points followed by Navy (91), Saint Joseph's (Pa.) (114), Geneseo State (157), Ohio (209), Delaware TC (268) and St. Francis (Pa.) (277).
At the Hanover Country Club, the GU women were led by All-American Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) who finished third overall with a time of 21:32.00 in the 5,950-meter course. All-American Madeline Chambers (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat) and Annamarie Maag (Lake Oswego, Ore.,/Jesuit) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, with times of 21:35.10 and 21:35.70. All-American Emily Jones (Harvard, Mass./Bromfield) was the fourth finisher for the Hoyas with a time of 21:47.10 for ninth place followed by Kirsten Kasper (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) in 10th place, timing in at 21:54.90.
With GU's top five point scorers finishing in the top 10, the Hoyas handily won the event. The sixth and seventh runners for the Blue & Gray were Hannah Neczypor (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) and Jenna Davidner (South Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) who finished 13th (22:10.00) and 17th (22:27.60), respectively.
The women were tabbed No. 3 in the preseason rankings and were able to introduce some talent that did not run during the 2011 National Championship season in Schneider and Chambers. The Hoyas also utilized the depth of the team with returners Maag, Jones, Kasper, Neczypor and Davidner - all contributors to the 2011 season.
On the men's side, Ben Furcht (Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion) was the top finisher for a Hoya team that benefited greatly from running as a pack. Furcht finished sixth with a time of 26:25 over the 5.2 mile course with Andrew Springer (Westerly, R.I./Westerly) finishing right behind in seventh place (26:25). All-American Mark Dennin (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyertown) and Max Darrah (South Yarmouth, Mass./Dennis-Yarmouth Regional) finished 10th and 11th, respectively, with times of 26:30 and 26:33. Austin Gregor (Chalfont, Pa./Central Bucks West) finished 24th (26:47), picking up 23 points in the team competition for the Blue & Gray. Dylan Sorensen (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville) and Silas Frantz (Henrico, Va./Douglas Freeman) were the sixth and seventh runners for Georgetown, showing the depth of the Hoyas as they finished 26th (25 potential points) and 31st (29 potential points), respectively, with times of 26:51 and 27:00.
The Hoyas were ranked No. 14 in the preseason and showcased their depth in the Harry Groves Invitational. The Hoya men finished within 35 seconds of one another and kept toward the front of the field.
The men and women will return on Sept. 28 with the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. It will be the last meet before both squads head to the Pre National Meet held in Louisville, Ky., this year.