Oct. 28, 2004
Center Valley, Pa. -- The American University men and women, both two-time Patriot League Cross Country Champions, will look to defend their titles at the 2004 Patriot League Cross Country Championship hosted by Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa., at Bucknell Golf Course on Saturday, October.
The women's race will start off the day at 10 a.m., while the men's race will begin at 11:00 a.m. The women's course is a 6,000-meter trek and the men's is 8,000-meters. The top seven individual finishers will earn first team All-League status, while those student-athletes finishing 8-14 will gain second team all-star honors.
The American men's team, picked as the preseason favorite after its back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003, will return last year's Patriot League Men's Cross Country Runner of the Meet, Pat MacAdie (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional). MacAdie captured his first career individual title at last year's competition, completing the course with a time of 25:18.80. The senior was named PL Runner of the Week twice this season, for finishing first at the Navy Invitational in Annapolis and for his second place finish at the Penn State National Invite, in which he set a personal best time of 25:58 for the 5.2-mile distance.
The Eagles also field a team consisting of two returning PL first team members and one second teamer. Senior Sean Duffy (Holmes, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) and junior Phil Gaeta (Herndon, Va./Oakton) claimed All-League accolades for their sixth and seventh place finishes last year, respectively, while junior Pat Burford (Bellmore, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) placed 15th. American will also look to sophomore Dan Beardslee (Waban, Mass./Newtown South) for leadership. Beardslee, Patriot League Runner of the Week on Oct. 5, won an individual title this year at the George Mason Invitational, running the 8,000-meter course in a time of 26:21.93.
Navy, last year's runner up, was selected to finish second again in 2004. The Mids also bring back three All-League performers, including first team senior Barry Carmody (Elk Grove, Calif./Jesuit) and second team juniors Ty Rose (Germantown, Tenn./Houston) and Joshua Sink (Welcome, N.C./North Davidson). Rose has been a solid competitor for Navy, leading the team in three of six meets, with his best finish a third place showing at the Navy Invitational. Carmody, who placed 10th at last year's championship, will also bring experience to the table. The senior team captain's best individual finish this year came at the Indiana State Invitational, where he took fifth place.
Six-time Patriot League champion Army will primarily look to seniors Eric Heely (Clovis, Calif./Floyd Buchanan) and Paul Strozier (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) and junior Phil Sakala (Las Cruces, N.M./Onate) to make an impact. Heely ran to a second place finish at the 2003 PL Championship meet, while Sakala picked up first team honors for his fifth place effort and Strozier rounded out the top-20 finishers a year ago.
Bucknell, which has won six PL crowns, will bring an experienced runner, senior Dan Lounsburg (Melrose, Ma./Melrose), to the 2004 championship. Lounsburg, a 2003 second team All-Leaguer, placed 17th overall a year ago and has been one of the Bison's top performers this season. Other runners that will look to make an impact are senior Travis Rivers (Waitsfield, Vt./Harwood Union) and sophomore Chris Nocera (EllwoodCity, Pa./Lincoln), both of whom have consistently been in the front of the pack for the Bison this year.
Lehigh, which placed fifth overall in 2003, returns only one All-League runner in Rob Hampson (Holland, Pa./Council Rock) this season. Hampson will be joined by sophomores Victor Vientos (Matawan, N.J./St. John's Vianney) and Sean Swift (Tenafly, N.J./Don Bosco Prep), two of the Mountain Hawks' best finishers of the year. Vientos was awarded Patriot League Runner of the Week honors after winning the individual title at the Lehigh Valley Collegiate Championship on Sept. 3.
The Raiders will look to improve upon their sixth place finish last year but will have to do it without the help of their only top-20 finisher from 2003, Xavier deBoissezon, who placed 13th. Sophomore Mike Hanlon (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Huron) has jumped out as Colgate's leading runner, after being the Raiders' top finisher all season. Hanlon picked up individual wins at the Harry Lang Invitational and the Binghamton Invitational.
Lafayette will not be fielding any 2003 All-Leaguers going into this year's championship either, but has its sites set on finishing higher than its eighth place showing a year ago. The Leopards number one runner all season has been junior Nicholas Birosik (New Ringgold, Pa./Tamaqua). Birosik's best finish this year was at the Lehigh Valley Championship where he took sixth place.
Rounding out the field is Holy Cross, which was picked to finish last in this year's competition. Senior John Nieskens (Peterborough, N.H./Contoocook Vall.) will be the cornerstone for the Crusaders in this year's race. In 2003 Nieskens ran to an 18th place finish to earn second team All-League accolades. The Peterborough, N.H. native was the PL Runner of the Week on Oct. 12 for his 26:43 minute performance at the New England Championship.
On the women's side, two-time League champion American was predicted to win the crown again for the third-straight year. The Eagles return the one-two punch of 2003 individual champion junior Keira Carlstrom (Oakton, Va./Oakton) and runner-up sophomore Kelley Taylor (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam). Carlstrom ran to the first place position last year in a time of 20:02.80. The junior from Oakton, Va. garnered PL Runner of the Week twice this year, and was an ECAC honoree on Sept. 14. Taylor picked up the silver medal last year with a time of 20:45.60 and was a one-time League Runner of the Week in 2004. American will also welcome back All-League competitors, senior Whitney McNess (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central) and junior Zaia Wharton (Elkins, W.Va./Elkins), who finished sixth and 18th, respectively.
Four-time League champions, Army, finished second last year and were accordingly picked to finish at that mark in 2004. Top 20 finishers sophomores Ashley Urick (Carmel, Ind./Carmel), Ann Lee Cole (Nottoway, Va./Nottoway) and Lindsey Hankins (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) are all back to help lead the Black Knights. Bringing in additional experience is junior Jill Hajec (Camden, Del./Ceasar Rodney Senior) and sophomore Margaret Clark (Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha), both of whom have been the team's top finisher at some point in the season. Clark grabbed one Runner of the Week award this season for her first place finish at the Army's dual meet with Navy, completing the race in a time of 23:05.
Last year's bronze medallist, Navy, will be running this year in hopes of its first-ever PL Championship crown. Stepping up to the line again this year will be 2003's fifth, 10th and 13th place finishers in sophomore trio Emily Castro (Centennial, Colo./Cherry Creek), Allison Barlow (Orange Park, Fla./Clay) and Erin Demchko (Nanuet, N.Y./Pearl River). Castro was the Mids' top finisher in four outings this year with her best showing coming against Army when she placed third in a time of 23:11.07. Also a threat is sophomore Christine Taranto (Corapolis, Pa./West Allegheny) who placed fourth at the Salty Seadog Open and ninth at the Gulden Invitational.
The Bison, who were selected as the fourth place finisher this year, will return three All-League runners from 2003. Senior Katie Pfeifer (Cantonsvile, Md./Cantonsville), sophomore Lauren Bricker (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) and junior Kayla Halloran (Norwell, Mass./Norwell) crossed the line at last year's championship in ninth, 15th and 20th place, respectively. Sophomore Leanna Nastase (Beaverdale, Pa./Forest Hills) has proven to be a standout as well for Bucknell this year. Nastase has been the top runner in three of the team's races this year, including a third place finish in the Detriot Mercy Invitational and a fourth place mark at the Gulden Invitational. The sophomore runner was also the top Bison representative at the Penn State National Invite.
Lehigh will not have a single top 20 finisher coming back this year as the Mountain Hawks seek their first title since 1992. Sophomore Jen Shappert (North East, Md./Rising Sun) will anchor Lehigh's attack for the upcoming championship, as she has proved to a valuable runner for the Brown and White. Shappert has an individual title under her belt already this year with a win at the Lehigh-Lafayette Dual meet and has been the team's top finisher in four other races. The sophomore hailing from North East, Md. picked up PL Runner of the Week honors for her 30th place performance at the Paul Short Invite on Sept. 25.
Lafayette will use the experience from 2003 second team All-League runner senior Devon Landers (Spring Lake, N.J./St. Rose) on its quest for this year's title. The Leopards have also seen senior Taryn Landers (Spring Lake, N.J./St. Rose), sophomore Hannah Tuson (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Somers) and freshman Fannie Morro (Stockholm, N.J./Pope John XXIII) as their top three finishers of the 2004 campaign. Each of the three women are still seeking their first individual win of the season.
Colgate, which has yet to bring home a League title, was chosen to come in seventh place at this year's competition. Junior Lia Cross (Skaneateles, N.Y./Skaneateles) and sophomore Hannah Failing (Deerfield, N.Y./Whitesboro) have been among the Raiders' best runners on the year. Cross placed second at the Hamilton Park Invitational on October 9, good enough to earn her Patriot League Runner of the Week honors. Failing picked up a fifth place finish at the Binghamton Invitational and led all Colgate runners at the Penn State Invitational.
Senior Katie Thornton (Burbank, Calif./Sacred Heart), who finished 17th at last's year championship, is the only All-League performer back for Holy Cross this season. Thornton will be joined by senior Erin Moseley (Carlisle, Mass./Concord Carlisle), who paced the Crusaders with a 13th place finish at the Blue Devil Invitational on Sept. 4. Moseley, who has been Holy Cross' top runner in five out of six events, picked up the season's last Runner of the Week award.