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Cross Country: Teams Battle at Regionals


Due to the extremely emotional and hectic week here at Penn State, I can’t say that I gave my Mid-Atlantic Regional Cross Country Championships preview the time it deserved. Even as a journalist, it is hard to put into words what has gone on here this week and what continues to unfold. The darkest days this university has ever experienced are taking place in front of its very eyes, leaving everyone associated with it drowning in a melting pot of emotions.

But maybe I can distract everyone for a bit with a quick dose of cross country. Probably not, but it’s worth a shot right?

Tomorrow while the football team battles Nebraska, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will be in Maryland facing their own battle at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Cross Country meet.

Both Penn State teams are ranked 4th in the region, but both have work to do if they want to advance to the national championship meet in Terre Haute, Indiana in 10 days.

Brief Analysis

One the women’s side, all the teams in front of Penn State are from the Big East. Expect Sheila Reid and Villanova to handle the field and win the meet without much trouble. Nova has been dominant all year and have their eyes set on a strong finish in Terre Haute. Also, Georgetown was ranked first in the nation at one point this year, so they will come out swinging. Penn State needs to be running at full strength to have a shot at making it to the next level. Front runners Caitlin Lane and Kara Millhouse need to get out and set the tone early for a strong team finish. Last year, the women were 3rd in the meet and qualified for nationals. The gun goes off at 1:15 p.m. for the women’s race.

If the women need to be running at full strength to make nationals, the men need to do even more than that if that is possible. Although a podium finish tomorrow is likely for the men’s team, they need to finish as high as possible in the team standings. They are currently a long shot to make the NCAA Championships. Seniors Kyle Dawson and Vince McNally have their work cut out for them. The rest of the team also will need to step up significantly to prove that they are better than the 6th place Big Ten team they showed at the conference meet. Look for the men to run smart yet extremely aggressively against a very talented field that includes 2010 regional champion Princeton. The men start at 12 p.m.

Check out the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Regional Central for more details on all the regional action across America this weekend.

Look for a recap of the weekend coming soon!