WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University cross country teams are both in Kenosha, Wis., in advance of the 2017 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships, scheduled for Saturday, October 28 at the Wayne Dennehl National Course. The men’s 8-kilometer race will begin at noon and the women’s 6-kilometer race is slated for 12:50 p.m. ET. This is just the second time America’s Dairyland has played host to the BIG EAST Cross Country Championships with the first time coming in 2014.
The Georgetown men’s cross country team is looking for the elusive BIG EAST three-peat, a feat only accomplished previously by Providence men’s cross country twice (1990-92, 1979-1982). The two-time defending champion Hoyas are in the hunt for their ninth team title in program history.
“We are looking to work together as a team better than we have thus far this season,” Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Brandon Bonsey said. “The last two years at the BIG EAST meet we worked as a group really well so we will look to emulate those performances. Practice has been really good since the Pre-National meet and I know all 10 guys lining up on Saturday are ready to give a great effort. Jon Green should be out at the front of the race and after him we have nine guys who are ready to run tough team races.”
Jonathan Green (Berlin, Mass./Saint John’s School) has been the low stick for the Blue & Gray this season, just like he was during the 2015 season when he finished fifth at the NCAA Championships. This season, Green was named the BIG EAST Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week on October 3. It was his lone honor of the season and the second cross country accolade of his career.
The men will look to the experience of graduate student Amos Bartelsmeyer (St. Louis, Mo./Saint Louis Country Day) and sophomores Matthew Bouthillette (North Providence, R.I./La Salle Academy) and Jack Van Scoter (Pasadena, Calif./Flintridge Prep), who have all been a part of winning BIG EAST squads with Bartelsmeyer being present for both 2016 and 2015.
“The women are excited to challenge their third-place finish from last year’s BIG EAST Championships,” Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Julie Culley said. “We learned a lot as a team coming off the Wisconsin Invitational and we are ready to showcase the strength of this squad.”
The women’s team is returning to Wisconsin after competing at the Wisconsin Invitational two weeks ago. The Hoyas finished 19th among a field that boasted 16 nationally-ranked programs as well as nine teams receiving votes in that weeks’ rankings.
The GU squad blends experience and youth in a squad that has plenty of depth. With four of the five point scorers from the 2016 BIG EAST squad returning to this year’s championship in Piper Dongahu (Portland, Ore./Grant), Autumn Eastman (Hinesburg, Vt./Champlain Valley Union), Josette Norris (Tenafly, N.J./Tenafly/North Carolina) and Kennedy Weisner (St. Marys, Pa./Elk County Catholic), the Hoyas bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Martha MacDonald (Toronoto, Ontario/Havergal College) will be making her first appearance in the postseason following an impressive freshman performance at the Wisconsin Invitational where she was the top GU finisher and was one of 12 athletes in their first season of cross country to finish among the top 70 in the race.
Historically, cross country is one of the BIG EAST’s most accomplished sports. Nationally, BIG EAST women’s teams have won four of the last eight NCAA Championships with the Hoyas capturing the 2011 title. Two BIG EAST athletes finished among the top 10 at the 2016 NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championships as Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan won the individual title and GU’s Scott Carpenter (Lenox, Mass./Lenox Memorial) finished 10th overall.
The BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN) will produce a Championship Recap show for BIGEAST.com, Facebook Live and the BIG EAST Youtube Page.