2011 Patriot League Cross Country Championship Preview

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Two-time Patriot League Champion Elise DeRoo, senior from Colgate
Two-time Patriot League Champion Elise DeRoo, senior from Colgate

Oct. 26, 2011

2011 Patriot League Cross Country Championship Central

Patriot League Cross Country Championships Release (10.26.11) Get Acrobat Reader

Patriot League Cross Country Championships Video Preview: YouTube
Patriot League Championship Course Maps: Men's 8K | Women's 6K

Center Valley, Pa. — Lehigh University’s Goodman Campus will be the site of the 2011 Patriot League Championships this Saturday where the Navy men and Colgate women will look to defend their titles.

The men’s 8K race will kick off the championships at 11 a.m., while the women’s 6K will begin at noon.

The Navy men’s team, ranked fifth in the Mid-Atlantic Region, has won three straight Patriot League Championships. The last two individual titles have come from Navy — graduated Andrew Hanko won twice — and the last five Rookies of the Meet have been Mids. Three of those former rookies — Jeremy Haney, Dean Black and Clay Elward — will be running for the Mids this week, along with Cody Rome, who has been Navy’s top runner all season.

Rome, a senior from Eagle, Idaho, turned in his fastest 8K time in his last race of the season, 24:21.4 at the Star Meet against Army in West Point, N.Y. Rome’s individual title at the Star Meet was the first of his career and it marked the fifth time this season he led all Navy runners.

Rome is familiar with the course he will be running on Saturday after finishing 26th (24:51) at the Paul Short Run on Sept. 30 against several top-ranked teams, but he wasn’t the Patriot League’s top finisher at the meet.

Lehigh’s Evans Kosgei, who was the League’s runner-up at the last two championships, finished 10th with a time of 24:25. Kosgei is looking to take the next step and win his first title in his final year. (For video interview with Evans Kosgei, click here)

Kosgei enters the championships after having an impressive outing at the Penn State National Invite, finishing as the top collegiate runner — second overall — with a time of 26:18 on a 5.2-mile course, which is a little longer than the 8K he will run this weekend.

Other contenders on the men’s side include American’s Craig Brown, who finished third last season, and Colgate’s Chris Johnson, who was ninth last year.

On the women’s side, Colgate’s Elise DeRoo returns looking for her third straight Patriot League individual title after leading the Raiders to their first team title in League history.

DeRoo, who finished first with a time of 19:17 last season, was one of four Colgate runners to finish in the top 13. Chelsea Burns, who was the League runner-up with a time of 20:07, and Kendall Lyons, who was 13th, both return for Colgate.

DeRoo is looking to become the fourth female runner to have won three League titles, and she also has the chance to give Colgate its fifth individual title, which would move the Raiders into second place all-time behind Bucknell (six titles).

American also has a chance to move into second place with senior Octavia Rinehardt, last season’s fourth-place finisher, running strong in her meets this season. She was the second-place finisher in the Brown Race of the Paul Short Run earlier this season with a time of 21:42.

But the No. 1 challenger for DeRoo looks to be Navy’s Jess Palacio, who has been the League’s top runner all season. She edged out DeRoo at the Paul Short Run, finishing 30th with a time of 21:13, one second and two places ahead of DeRoo.

Lehigh’s Katherine Pierc, Bucknell's Stephanie Fulmer and Holy Cross’ Paige Sutherland also will be in the mix. At last season's championships, Sutherland was fifth, Fulmer was sixth and Pierce was 10th. (For a video interview with Stephanie Fulmer, click here)

For full coverage of the 2011 Patriot League Cross Country Championships, log on to www.PatriotLeague.org Saturday for results, recaps and video interviews with the champions.