Nov. 15, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University cross country team traveled to Bethlehem, Pa., to compete in the 2013 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Cross Country Regional today, hosted by Lehigh University. The women, tabbed fourth nationally by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) took second place behind BIG EAST foe Villanova while the men finished third behind No. 20 Villanova and No. 15 Princeton. With a second-place finish, the women will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships while the men await an at-large bid.
"Our women ran a great team race today," Head Women's Cross Country Coach Michael Smith said. "There aren't many teams in the country who can say they have a 12-second spread across their five point scorers and I'm really proud of our team's performance today. We wanted to do just enough to qualify for the NCAA Championships and be well-rested for that event."
A typical cross country season has athletes competing every other week for recovery purposes. However, at the end of the season, the schedule forces runners to compete at the regional championship and just one week later compete at the NCAA national championships should the team qualify.
With this schedule, the Coach Smith's plans were for the Blue & Gray to do just enough to qualify but not over-run and force themselves in to a long recovery time. He instructed the team to not kick at the end of the race and really focus on a small spread from top to bottom. The Hoyas executed an impressive team strategy as a mere five seconds separated the first runner from the fifth.
Georgetown again looked to its consistent front runner in sophomore Samantha Nadel (Glen Head, N.Y./North Shore) who finished third overall with a time of 20:09 over the 6,000-meter race. All-Americans Madeline Chambers (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat) and Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas) finished second (sixth overall) and third (seventh overall) for the Hoyas with respective times of 20:13 and 20:15. Annamarie Maag (Lake Oswego, Ore./Jesuit Prep) finished ninth overall and was the fourth point-scorer for Georgetown with a time of 20:20. All-American Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy) and Haley Pierce matched times with 20:21 for fifth and sixth places, respectively.
The BIG EAST Conference dominated the meet as Villanova led the way with 31 points (0:42 spread across 1 / 2 / 4 / 8 / 16) while the Hoyas followed up in second place with 35 points (0:12 spread across 3 / 6 / 7 / 9 / 10). The conference duo dominated the field with a 57-point gap between second-place GU and third-place finisher Penn State (92; 0:40 spread across 12 / 14 / 18 / 19 / 29), West Virginia (124; 0:17 across 21 / 22 / 25 / 26 / 30) and Princeton (135; 1:11 across 5 / 13 / 36 / 38 / 43) to round out the top five.
On the men's side No. 20 Villanova led the way with 34 points (1 / 2 / 9 / 10 / 12) followed by No. 15 Princeton (60; 6 / 7 / 11 / 17 / 19) and Georgetown (63; 3 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 18).. Penn totaled 152 points (5 / 24 / 26 / 46 / 51) while Penn State rounded out the top five with 175 points (4 / 31 / 35 / 43 / 62) over the 10,000-meter race.
"I was proud of our guys today," Head Men's Distance Coach Brandon Bonsey said. "They ran a patient, smart race. We talked about being conservative in the early stages of the race and building intensity throughout and they did just that. They competed really well in the last 4k."
All-American Andrew Springer (Westerly, R.I./Westerly) led the way for the Hoyas with a third-place finish, timing in at 29:46. Brian King (Sonoma, Calif./Cardinal Newman) fell in to his consistent spot this season following in second for the Hoyas with a time of 30:14 (13th overall), leading a trio of Hoyas with John Murray (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) and Collin Leibold (Falls Church, Va./Gonzaga) following up in 14th (30:17) and 15th (30:18) place, respectively. Bobby Peavey (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) was the final point scorer for the Hoyas with a time of 30:24, finishing 18th.
"Overall, I was very pleased with our effort and execution." Bonsey said.
Springer's performance qualifies him for the NCAA Championship as an individual as the team awaits the announcement of the NCAA Championships field.
The Hoyas women will compete at the NCAA Championships on Saturday, November 23 while the men await the announcement of the NCAA field.