Outside of HepsXC, the NCAA Regional meets is the other major cross country race on the Ivy League calendar. The regional races will be held this Friday. The Northeast Regional race will be held at Boston’s Franklin Park (Northeast Regional details available here) while Princeton will host the Mid-Atlantic Regional race at their West Windsor Fields for the first time (Mid-Atlantic Regional details available here). In both regions, the women’s 6km race will start at noon while the men will upgrade to the 10km distance that will kick off at 1pm.
Just to recap the NCAA qualification process:
Last year, we had 1 team (Dartmouth women) and 7 individuals qualify for NCAAs in Terre Haute, Ind (men | women). Can we get more athletes to qualify this year? It’s quite possible given how these meets can be unpredictable. Even some meet previews know there are very few guarantees in the races (Mid-Atlantic preview | Northeast preview). But if you base the NCAA qualifiers on the current regional rankings and records, the Penn and Columbia men, and Princeton, Yale, and Columbia women all would qualify as teams, according to Letsrun.com calculations (which includes the “math” of wins vs losses for each team).
In my opinion, it is going to be an uphill battle for all of the teams because there is nothing guaranteed, even if you are in the top 2 of their respective region in the most recent regional rankings. Can all of the men teams adapt to the additional 2km to their races? Can the Ivy League’s A-game be enough to topple other nationally ranked squads – such as the Syracuse men, Providence women, Villanova men, or Penn State women – in order to secure automatic berths? And which individuals can make the cut? We have four seniors who are looking to make it to NCAAs for the third consecutive year – Penn’s Thomas Awad, Yale’s Kevin Dooney, Dartmouth’s Dana Giordano, and Harvard’s Thomas Purnell.
The best way to follow the meets is through the internet – while there are no webstreams of the races that we know of, each regional meet will have live results posted (check the details in the links above). In additional, there will be lots of coverage on Twitter – the Northeast meet has the account @2015NEXCChamps, and there will be a number of hashtags to follow come race day.
Regardless, good luck to all Ivy teams. Hope to see you in Louisville!
photo by Bill Shearn