At the end of yesterday’s Regional qualification races, we can
unofficially OFFICIALLY say that we have a good size group head to Louisville, Ky. for next weekend’s NCAA Cross Country National Championship. We got one automatic team qualifier, one Regional champion, and a number of All-Region honorees. I’d say we had a pretty good Friday.
Our first real “qualifiers” yesterday came out of the Mid-Atlantic Region as the Penn men secured their tickets to Louisville with a second place team finish. Top two teams in each region get automatic qualifiers. This is the first time that Penn has returned to NCAAs for cross country since 1975 where they finished 27th in the final team results. The Quakers were led by HepsXC champion Thomas Awad, who finished in 4th place in 30:49.5 on the West Windsor Fields 10km course. All five of Penn’s scorers finished in the top 25 of the race, helping them earn the low score of 60 points, holding off Villanova by 7 points. The race was won by Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan in 30:15.8 while Georgetown claimed the team title with 44 points. Princeton finished 4th in the standings with 102 points, led by freshman Jeremy Spiezo with a time of 31:21.2. This was the first time that Spiezo has finished as Princeton’s #1 runner this season. No Ivy individual qualifiers came out of the Mid-Atlantic Region for the men. The only men teams that qualified for NCAAs out of this region were the top 2 overall (Georgetown and Penn), while individuals from Villanova and UMBC grabbed the top 4 individual qualifying spots.
Mid-Atlantic Region Men top 25 (All-Region honorees):
4. Thomas Awad (Penn), 30:49.5
6. Nicholas Tuck (Penn), 30:54.6
12. Brendan Shearn (Penn), 31:12.9
15. Brendan Smith (Penn), 31:21.2
16. Jeremy Spiezo (Princeton), 31:21.2
19. Sam Berger (Princeton), 31:28.5
20. Michael Sublette (Princeton), 31:31.0
22. Brett Kelly (Princeton), 31:31.5
23. Ross Wilson (Penn), 31:32.2
24. Steven Sum (Princeton), 31:32.2
In all of the other races, the Ivies needed to wait until the Regional racing was complete to determine who managed to get an at-large berth or an individual qualifier.
The Princeton women were strong candidates for an at-large berth going into their race on Friday, needing to secure either a 3rd or 4th place team finish as they had a strong enough season to get through to Nationals. They pulled through – finishing 3rd in their competitive region with 80 points behind Penn State (60 points) and Georgetown (75 points), but comfortably ahead of Villanova (125 points). The Lady Tigers were led by Emily de La Bruyere’s second place overall finish in 20:53.6, steps behind winner Blanca Fernandez of Temple (20:52.0) on the 6km course. Close behind was HepsXC champion Elizabeth Bird, who was third in 20:56.9. Ashley Montgomery continued her breakout season as the Lady Quaker finished 5th overall in 21:04.8, securing herself an individual qualifier position. She was the only Ivy to grab an individual qualifier from the Mid-Atlantic. Montgomery led her team to a sixth place team finish (158 points).
Mid-Atlantic Region Women top 25 (All-Region honorees):
2. Emily de La Bruyere (Princeton), 20:53.6
3. Elizabeth Bird (Princeton), 20:56.9
5. Ashley Montgomery (Penn), 21:04.8 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
13. Kathryn Fluehr (Princeton), 21:16.6
Up in the Northeast Region, we got grabbed a number of NCAA tickets through individual berths. Dartmouth’s Dana Giordano led the charge for the women as she claimed the Northeast Regional title in 20:25.7 on the historic Franklin Park 6km course. This will be Giordano’s third consecutive year that she’s qualified for NCAAs in cross country. She was either leading or co-leading the race from the start, taking control around halfway through and never backing down. Joining Giordano in that front group was Brown’s Natalie Schrudowitz, who booked her first ticket to a NCAA championship by finished 4th overall in 20:39.2. A few clicks back was Harvard’s Courtney Smith, who finished 5th in a time of 20:41.5. Smith is considered the last individual female qualifier out of the Northeast Region. Overall, Brown had their best team performance yet for their 2015 cross country season as they finished 3rd overall in the team scores with 139 points as the top Ivy school. Yale – led by Frances Schmiede – was 5th with 156 points, followed closely by Harvard in 6th (187 points). Columbia was led by Natalie Tanner to a 7th place finish (204 points), edging out Dartmouth (8th with 211 points) and Cornell (9th with 218 points).
Northeast Region Women top 25 (All-Region honorees):
1. Dana Giordano (Dartmouth), 20:25.7 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
4. Natalite Schrudowitz (Brown), 20:39.2 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
5. Courtney Smith (Harvard), 20:41.5 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
13. Frances Schmiede (Yale), 21:03.0
14. Natalie Tanner (Columbia), 21:04.2
19. Taylor Worthy (Brown), 21:14.9
22. Dana Klein (Yale), 21:20.1
23. Meredith Rizzo (Yale), 21:21.6
25. Caroline Kellner (Cornell), 21:26.5
The Ivy men claimed all of the individual qualifying positions for the Northeast. Cornell’s Ben Rainero was the top Ivy finisher with a 5th place finish on the 10km course (30:34.5), where the race was won by Syracuse’s Justyn Knight (30:28.9). Yale’s Kevin Dooney is returning to NCAAs for the third year in a row with his 8th place overall finish (30:46.3). Columbia’s Tait Rutherford is also returning to NCAAs (first time as an individual as he was on the 2013 qualifying team that finished 25th at NCAAs) as he finished 9th overall in 30:47.4. Rainero is going to get some team company as Brian Eimstad had his best race of the season with his 14th place finish (30:57.5). The Syracuse men dominated the race, winning with 29 points. Iona claimed the other auto-qualifying position with 40 points. Cornell was the top Ivy squad as they finished 3rd with 114 points – unfortunately, it was not enough to get the team to Louisville. Dartmouth finished 4th overall, led by Daniel Salas’ 17th place finish (31:02.8). Columbia finished 5th in the team rankings (156 points). Yale got 169 points with Providence, but due to the tiebreaking rules, finished 7th overall. Harvard – led by Chris Allen in 28th place in 31:26.7 – finished 8th with 274 points while Brown was 9th with 315 points.
Northeast Region Men top 25 (All-Region honorees):
5. Ben Rainero (Cornell), 30:34.5 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
8. Kevin Dooney (Yale), 30:46.3 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
9. Tait Rutherford (Columbia), 30:47.4 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
14. Brian Eimstad (Cornell), 30:57.5 INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIER
17. Daniel Salas (Dartmouth), 31:02.8
18. Dominic DeLuca (Cornell), 31:05.4
23. James Randon (Yale), 31:16.5
24. Will Sheeran (Brown), 31:18.6
25. Jack Boyle (Columbia), 31:19.0