Here is a combination of what I wrote for ArmoryTrack.com as well as LetsRun guru John Kellogg’s thoughts of this weekend’s NCAA regionals (as they pertain to the Ivies):
The Northeast Regional — which emcompasses the state of New York and those to the North — will take place at the Audubon Golf Club in suburban Buffalo, N.Y. Eight nationally-ranked programs will compete there, four men and four women. On the men’s side, No. 9 Iona — led by individual title contender Leonard Korir — is the top-ranked in the region followed by Columbia (22), Syracuse (29) and Providence (30). The women’s race will feature No. 5 Providence and No. 9 Syracuse trying to hold off Boston College (18) and Cornell (29).
Sez John Kellogg of LetsRun.com — “As far as we know, there has never been a cross-country race run on this course. It is completely flat, but it supposedly gets waterlogged easily, and possible precipitation is in the forecast in the days leading up to the race. And if it’s windy in the Lake Erie area, it could be howling windy.”
The Mid-Atlantic Regional — which stretches from New Jersey south to the Capitol Region and west to West Virginia — will hold its event on the campus of the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md. Last year’s national championship women’s team — current No. 2 Villanova — will be challenged by No. 7 Georgetown, No. 13 West Virginia and No. 22 Penn State. On the men’s side, Heps’ champion Princeton, ranked ninth in the nation, is the team to beat and Villanova (13) and Georgetown (23) will be trying to do just that.
Sez John Kellogg of LetsRun.com — “Princeton, ranked 9th in the country, had to rally past Columbia in the last mile to escape with the win at HEPS. Donn Cabral looked like a top 10 contender for NCAAs coming into the meet, but he had an off day (by his standards) and wound up having to sprint just to get 3rd, while fellow All-American Brian Leung had been suffering from an illness and slipped to 28th. If the Tigers regain the form that netted them 4th at Wisconsin, they should be the best team in the region, but we’re still going to have a few reservations (at least for this meet) following the sketchy results at HEPS. Slushy footing, blinding snow and falling temperatures at the Ivy League meet notwithstanding, they’ll have to bounce back and do better to beat ‘Nova here and be a top 10 team at NCAAs.”
Advancement procedures are pretty simple. Teams earn an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championships (Nov. 21, Terre Haute, Ind.) by finishing first or second in their region. Thirteen at-large teams will also be selected from the nine regions. Also, the top four individuals from each region not on an advancing team will qualify for nationals. There will also be two at-large individuals chosen to compete as well.
By the way, I can’t get enough of the snow photos from Heps. Hence the image above, which was taken by the amazing Doug Austin!