Cross Country Notebook - NCAA Regionals Preview

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - With the 2010 BIG EAST Championship wrapped-up, the conference teams ready for the NCAA Regional meets taking place across the country this Saturday, Nov. 13. All 16 BIG EAST schools will compete in six different regional meets, including the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, South and Southeast. The top two teams from each region will automatically qualify for the 2010 NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 20. There are then 13 at-large teams selected for both the men's and women's side, bringing the total to 31 teams competing at the national championship. Individuals also can qualify by being one of the top four finishers in a region not advancing on a qualifying team. Six BIG EAST women's teams qualified for the NCAA Championship in 2009 while three men's teams qualified. The women run a 6k race at regionals while the men run a 10k.
Great Lakes (Katke-Cousins Golf Course, Rochester, Mich.)
Notre Dame: The Irish women are coming off a sixth-place finish at the BIG EAST Championship. Freshman Meg Ryan placed 29th to pace the Notre Dame runners, while senior Erica Watson grabbed 32nd. At the 2009 regional meet, the Irish claimed first with 94 points. The squad is ranked ninth in the Great Lakes Region entering the meet.
The men's team enters the Great Lakes Regional ranked No. 30 in the country after taking fifth at the BIG EAST Championships. Senior Dan Jackson was an All-Conference performer with a 12th-place finish in 25:32.7. In 2009, the Irish finished seventh at the regional meet with 205 points. The squad is currently ranked third in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Cincinnati: Junior Eric Finan earned BIG EAST All-Conference honors with a seventh-place finish at the BIG EAST Championships, leading the Bearcats to a seventh-place team finish. Finan navigated the course in 25:22.2. Cincinnati finished 16th at the 2009 Great Lakes Regional with a score of 427. Finan also was the top finisher at that meet, place 32nd with a time of 31:58.21.
The women's side finished ninth at the BIG EAST Championships with 294 points. Seniors Lilian Jelimo and Michele McKenney were the top two finishers for the Bearcats. Jelimo placed 35th with a time of 22:29.6 and McKenney finished 42nd in a time of 22:40.4. The team finished 13th at the Great Lakes Regional in 2009, totaling 370 points. Jelimo was the top finisher in 33rd place with a time of 21:59.35.
Marquette: The men's team finished eighth at the BIG EAST Championships, totaling 198 points. Senior Brice Cleland led the Golden Eagles in 31st with a time of 26:16.6. Marquette finished 12th at the Great Lakes Regional in 2009 with 320 points. Cleland led the team in 27th place while Blake Johnson notched 30th
The Golden Eagle women finished 10th at the BIG EAST Championship. Senior Olivia Johnson placed 47th with a time of 22:53.8 while sophomore Carly Windt was 58th with a time of 23:10.2. Marquette finished 11th at the Great Lakes Regional in 2009 with 344 points. Then-junior Molly Arenberg place 54th to lead all Golden Eagle runners with a time of 22:21.90.
Mid-Atlantic (Penn State Blue & White Golf Course, University Park, Pa.)
Georgetown: The Hoya women won all three of their races before placing second at the BIG EAST Championship. Seven runners finished in the top 20 at the BIG EAST Championships, the most of any team in the conference. Junior Emily Infeld led the pack with a third-place finish. The Mid-Atlantic Regional will be run at the same course the Hoyas won the Harry Groves Spike Shoe Invitational earlier this year. Freshman Emily Jones won the event. Last year, the Hoyas finished fifth at Regionals in Princess Anne, Md. The squad is currently ranked No. 5 in the country.
The men's side finished sixth at the BIG EAST Championships, with junior Andrew Taye placing fifth to lead the Hoyas. Taye paced Georgetown in all four the team's meets this season. Two runners finished in the top 25 at the BIG EAST Championships, as junior James Grimes grabbed 24th. GU finished second in two meets and sixth in the other two this season.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers took 15th on the women's side, totaling 443 points at the BIG EAST Championships. Freshman Susannah Fienstein was the top finisher, placing 80th with a time of 24:12.8. The Pittsburgh women did not compete at the 2009 regional.
The men's side claimed 12th at the BIG EAST Championship as senior Joshua Christopher led the Panthers in 55th. The team finished with 369 point. Pitt notched 14th at the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Regional with 352 points. Then-junior Edward Miller was the top finisher for the Panthers in 49th with a time of 33:37.8.
Rutgers: The Rutgers men placed 11th at the BIG EAST Championships, totaling 354 points. Seniors Nick Miehe and Kevin Cronin led the team, placing 54th and 65th respectively. The Scarlet Knights finished 17th at the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Regional with a score of 395 points. Then-senior Taylor Burmeister led Rutgers in 31st-place with a time of 33:00.6.
The women also took 11th at the BIG EAST Championships. Freshman Brianna Deming placed 49th with a time of 22:55.5 to lead the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers finished 14th at the Mid-Atlantic Regional last year, posting a score of 426. Then-sophomore Kelly Flannigan was the first Scarlet Knight to cross the finish line, placing 36th with a time of 22:40.
Seton Hall: Hughnique Rolle was the top finisher for the Pirates women's team at the BIG EAST Championship, as the sophomore continued her strong season. Rolle finished 89th while the Pirates totaled 505 points to finish 16th. At last year's Mid-Atlantic Regional, the Pirates placed 26th with a score of 764 points. Then-junior Keaira Dickerson finished 136th to lead all Seton Hall runners with a time of 24:52.
The men's side placed 14th with a total of 432 points. Freshman Carl Johnson was the first Pirate to cross the finish line in 70th-place, notching a time of 28:04.6. Seton Hall came in 28th at the regional meet last year, totaling 882 points.
Villanova: The Villanova women have lived up to their preseason No. 1 ranking, holding that spot throughout the season as the Wildcats prepare to defend their 2009 NCAA Championship. The Wildcats won the 2010 BIG EAST Championship, making it three straight seasons Villanova has captured the crown. The team totaled 26 points, the lowest total for any team winning the title since 1991 when Villanova had 22 points. All five runners finished in the top 11, with junior Sheila Reid winning the individual crown for the second straight season. The team won the Mid-Atlantic Regional in 2009 with a score of 23, placing all five of its runners in the top 10.
The men's side finished fourth at the BIG EAST Championships, totaling 85 points. Sophomore Mathew Mildenhall finished eighth in a time of 25:23.4, while classmate Matthew Kane grabbed 13th with a time of 25:35.0. The Wildcats finished second at the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Regional with a score of 48 points. Mildenhall paced Villanova with a second-place finish in a time of 31:42.0.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers are coming off a fifth-place finish at the BIG EAST Championships, totaling 149 points. All-BIG EAST performer Kaitlyn Gillespie led the West Virginia charge, as the sophomore claimed 10th in a time of 21:17.2. She has three top-10 finishes on the year, including two first-place finishes. Junior Sarah-Anne Brault was also a top-25 finisher, crossing the line in 21:46.0 to take 22nd. WVU will race Gillespie, Brault, junior Ahna Lewis, senior Maria Dalzot, redshirt freshman Sarah Martinelli, sophomore Hallie Portner, sophomore Aubrey Moskal, sophomore Jordan Hamric and redshirt freshman Chelsea Jarvis at the Mid-Atlantic Regional.
Midwest (Newman Golf Course, Peoria, Ill.)
DePaul: The Blue Demon women are coming off a 12th-place finish at the BIG EAST Championships. Junior Toni Salvatore was the top finisher, placing 40th with a time of 22:37.7. The squad placed 17th at the 2009 Midwest Regional with a total of 437 points. Then-senior Terah Cheatham was the top finisher in 75th place with a time of 23:03.9.
Junior Matthew Graham continued to pace the men's team, finishing third with a time of 25:08.1 Graham helped DePaul to ninth place with 280 points. The Blue Demons came in 17th at the 2009 Midwest Regional with 477 points. Matthew Graham led the pack in 24th with a time of 31:43.1.
Northeast (Hammonasset State Park, Madison, Conn.)
Connecticut: The Connecticut men had its best race at the Connecticut College Invite when the Huskies brought home first place. Freshman Dan Francouer led the Huskies to a 10th-place finish at the BIG EAST Championship, placing 52nd overall in a time of 26:53. Sophomores Nicko Aguila and Artem Skobrev are the only two current Huskies that have experience running at the NCAA Regional meet. Last year, Aguila placed 118th and Skobrev placed 123rd.
The women's team finished seventh at the BIG EAST Championship as freshman Lauren Sara was the high-finisher in 30th place. All of the Huskies finished between 30th and 51st to total 212 points. The top-half finish is the best performance for the Huskies in the last decade. Connecticut finished 16th at the 2009 regional with 480 points.
Providence: The Providence men head into the Northeast Regional ranked 28th in the country, most recently placing third at the BIG EAST Championships with 84 points. The squad will once again be led by junior Lee Carey, who became the eighth Friar male to win the BIG EAST individual crown. He is the first Friar since Martin Fagan in 2006 to take top honors. Last season, the Friars placed third in the Northeast Regional field of 36 teams. Carey placed second in the event. The Friars will also look for a top ten finish from junior Dominic Channon, who placed 16th at last years NCAA Regionals as a sophomore.
The Friar women enter the Northeast Regional as the 14th ranked team in the nation. Providence is coming off a fourth-place finish at the BIG EAST Championships, with their team total of 90 points. The squad will be led by Shelby Greany, who placed second in last year's Northeast Regionals and, most recently, earned fourth overall at the BIG EAST Championships. Greany also placed 29th (20:35) at the World Junior Cross Country Championship in Bydgoszcz, Poland this past March. The Friars will look for a low number from junior Hannah Davidson who placed fifth at last year's Northeast Regionals in Boston.

St. John's: The Red Storm finished 32nd at the 2009 Northeast Regional with a score of 931 points. Then-sophomore Nicole Cocozza was the top finisher in 148th place with a time of 25:15. St. John's is coming off a 14th-place finish at the BIG EAST Championship. Junior Samantha Meyerhoff led all Red Storm runners in 71st with a time of 23:43.3 and will be running in her first regional meet this weekend.
Syracuse: Syracuse will compete in the NCAA Northeast Regional meet on Nov. 13 in Madison, Conn. Both the men and women's teams have their eye on repeating as regional champions. The Orange men are ranked second in the Northeast region and 17th nationally, while the women are first in the region and 7th in the nation. 
The men's team claimed its second straight BIG EAST Championship title on Oct. 30 at Jamesville Beach Park, totaling 59 points. Junior Pat Dupont placed fourth to lead the Orange. The women's side notched a third-place finish.  
Last year at the Northeast Regional, then-junior Katie Hursey was the first runner to cross the finish line at the competition with a time of 21:57, becoming SU's first individual women's champion. On the men's side, then-sophomore Pat Dupont finished fifth overall with the team's best time of 31:09.
Southeast (E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, Louisville, Ky.)
The Cardinals notched eighth in the women's race at the BIG EAST Championships with 272 points. Senior Emily Borsare led the team in 24th with a time of 21:55.1. The squad finished seventh at the 2009 Southeast Regional with 234 points. Then-senior Tarah McKay was the top finisher, notching an impressive third-place finish in a time of 20:17.34. The top returning runner from last year's regional is Brosare who finished 30th in a time of 21:31.84.
South (Veterans Park, Hoover, Ala.)
USF: The University of South Florida cross country teams finished the 2009 season at the NCAA South Regional, with the women earning a 12th-place finish and the men tying for 19th. Then-sophomore Nicole Rozario led the way for the women's team, finishing in 35th overall out of 170 runners with a time of 21:34.77. Then-sophomore Allie Prendergast came in just under 22 minutes in the 6k race, running a 21:58.27 to finish 51st. Then-sophomore Yasmin Smith was nine spots behind after crossing the finish line in 22:08.01.
The men earned a tie for 19th with Jacksonville State out of a total of 26 teams to equal their 2008 finish at the Championships. Then-sophomore Phillip Wise paced the field for USF with a time of 32:37.56 in the 10k race, good for 62nd overall among a field of 173 runners. Then-junior Pedro Carela used a time of 33:17.86 to earn 91st place, while then-freshman Felix Soto came in 113th in 33:54.12.
Both USF teams both finished in 13th place at the BIG EAST Championships. The men were 13th of 14 teams with 397 points, while the women were 13th out of 16 teams with 348 points. Junior Phillip Wise was the top finisher for the men's team, clocking a 27:59.8 to finish in 69th place. Junior Allie Prendergast led the women's team with a 54th-place finish time of 23:02.1
Five members of USF's women's team competed at the 2009 NCAA South Regional, while four of the men's team participated. Junior Nicole Rozario was USF's top finisher last season, taking 35th place. The women's team has competed at the NCAA South Regional in 12 of the last 13 seasons. They've placed in the top five six times and in the top 10 eight times. The men's team has also competed at 12 of the last 13 regional meets. USF has posted a runner-up finish (2000) and three third-place finishes (1997, '98 and '99) during that span.