2012 CAA Cross Country Championship Preview
RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 24, 2012) - The 2012 CAA Cross Country Championships will be hosted by the College of William & Mary at Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Va. on Saturday, October 27. The women's six-kilometer race is set to begin at 10:00 a.m. with the men's eight-kilometer event to follow at 11:00 a.m. The awards ceremony will conclude the championships at 12:00 p.m. Admission to the event is free, and directions to the course are listed below.
CAA Men's Championship
Five CAA squads will tackle the course in pursuit of the men's conference championship. William & Mary enters the event as the favorite as it looks to win its 13th straight CAA title. The Tribe currently ranks fifth in the Southeast Region of the USTFCAA Coaches' Poll, and has been ranked as high as 23rd in the national polls.
W&M placed second in the prestigious Paul Short Invitational last month and finished 14th at the Pre-National Invitational. The Tribe returns two of its top finishers from last year's CAA championship - senior Alex McGrath (6th) and 2011 CAA Rookie of the Year, Rad Gunzenhauser (5th). Junior Josh Hardin led W&M with a 26th-place effort at the Pre-Nationals.
Also in the hunt will be George Mason, which has placed second to W&M for the past three years. The Patriots, who enter the championship ranked No. 11 in the USTFCAA Southeast Region, collected top-five finishes in all four of their events this season. Senior Robert Reynolds captured the individual title at the Blue Ridge Invitational two weeks ago, and John Holt was Mason's top finisher in two meets this season. Senior Everett Hackett and junior Alex Ott have are also coming off top 10 individual finishes.
Northeastern will be led by freshman Wesley Gallagher. The Huskies enter the event after a first place finish at the Ted Owen Invitational earlier this season and a ninth place performance in a deep field at the New England Championship.
CAA Women's Championship
Eight teams will by vying for the 2012 CAA Women's Championship on the 6K course at Eastern State. James Madison will be looking to win its third straight title and eighth overall.
JMU opened the season with a victory at its own JMU Open Invitational. The Dukes are ranked No. 11 in the USTFCCCA Southeast Region rankings and also collected top-10 finishes at the Roy Griak Invitational and the Chili Pepper Invitational. JMU will feature reigning CAA Athlete of the Year and 2011 individual champion Katie Harman as well as other top ten finishers Stacey Nobles (3rd) and Kristen Landry (10th). Senior Katie Gorman was the Dukes' top finisher in their most recent outing.
William & Mary will enter the race as the favorite to win its 18th CAA title after ranking No. 18 in the latest USTFCCA National Poll as well as No. 2 in the Southeast Region rankings. The Tribe has had strong showings in national meets this season, finishing second in the Paul Short Invitational and sixth in the Pre-Nationals. W&M has also won all three of the lower level events that it entered this season - the Spider Alumni Open, the W&M Invitational, and the Tribe Invitational.
Leading the Tribe will be two-time CAA Runner of the Week selection and 2011 championship runner-up Elaina Balouris. Freshman Emily Stites was the winner of the Spider Alumni Invitational earlier this season, while Jess Cygan was the 2011 CAA Rookie of the Year and Michelle Britto placed eighth at the CAA Championship a year ago.
Also in the mix will be Delaware, which holds the No. 11 ranking in the USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region. The Blue Hens enter the event with three team titles already this season, and a top-20 finish in Paul Short Invitational. UD will be led by junior Lindsay Prettyman, who has two individual titles this season and was named CAA Runner of the Week on Sept. 4th.
For complete championship coverage visit CAA Cross Country Championship Central.
Directions to the Course:
Eastern State Hospital - 4601 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, VA 23188
From Interstate 64 West: Take I-64 West to Exit 242A (Route 199 West). Follow 199 through five stoplights. After the fifth light, take the second exit (Longhill Road). At the top of the exit ramp, go right onto Longhill Road. CONTINUE STRAIGHT, do NOT turn left when the road curves. Continue around the curve to take the first right onto Ashbury Road (James City County Rec Center is on the left). Turn right at the second intersection onto Foster Road. At the next intersection, attendants will direct you where to park.
From Interstate 64 East: Take I-64 East to Lightfoot Exit 234 (Route 199 East). At top of exit ramp, take a right onto Route 199 East. Stay on 199 East until the Longhill Road exit. Exit at Longhill Road. At the top of the exit ramp, take a left at the light onto Longhill Road. CONTINUE STRAIGHT, do NOT turn left when the road curves. Continue around the curve to take the first right onto Ashbury Road (James City County Rec Center is on the left). Turn right at the second intersection onto Foster Road. At the next intersection, attendants will direct you to park.