Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoyas Sweep Mid-Atlantic Regionals

Georgetown’s eighth-ranked men’s and women’s cross country teams took a giant leap closer to reaching their goal of a top finish at the NCAA National Championships by sweeping this weekend’s Mid-Atlantic Regionals at the Blue/White Golf Course at Penn State. This is the second consecutive year the Hoyas won both events, and the performances earned both teams automatic bids to the National Championships next week in Iowa.

The women obliterated the 24-team field Saturday, placing all five point-scorers within the top 13 en route to their 36-point margin of victory. West Virginia, which amassed 94 points, fell to a distant second. Villanova (96) Bucknell (132) and Navy (168) rounded out the top five.

All-American graduate student Autumn Fogg led the Hoyas, crossing the line of the six-kilometer course in 20:44.10 for second place overall. Villanova senior and Big East Champion Ann cGranahan edged Fogg for first, timing 20:32.34.

“Georgetown is always tough,” McGranahan said. “And coming from the Big East Championships, I knew Autumn was going to be one of my main competitors. I looked back a couple of times during the race, and she was always there. She always runs well.”

Sophomore Marni Kruppa returned from an injury in stunning fashion, running number two for the Hoyas on Saturday. It was Kruppa’s first race this season, and she crossed the line in 20:53.57 to garner fourth place overall. Senior Emily Enstice finished behind Fogg and Kruppa with a time of 20:55.26, taking fifth place.

Senior Lorena Adams (21:15.98) finished 12th and freshman Amanda Pape (21:18.55) placed 13th to round out the point scorers for the Hoyas. Six and seven runners Kristen Gordon and Kate Crowley also contributed with solid races, taking 25th and 27th place finishes to displace the final point scorers of West Virginia and Villanova and increase Georgetown’s margin of victory.

Fogg, Kruppa, Enstice, Adams, Pape and Gordon earned All-Region honors for their efforts.

“I’m very excited about how we did as a team,” Fogg said. “This is the first time this year we came out of a race and really felt good.”

Kruppa’s return seemed to have had a sizable impact on the team. “I am so proud of her,” Fogg said of Kruppa’s fourth place effort. “I know how hard it is [to return from an injury] and she is absolutely fearless.”

“Marni did an incredible job,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “She’s very fit, she worked very hard, and obviously it paid off.”

“I knew I was in good cardiovascular shape going into the race,” Kruppa said, “but I didn’t know what to expect. I think everything went well for the team and I was excited to run fast. Right now I’m running faster than I did last year, I feel healthy and I think I’m back to being 100 percent.”

After decimating the local talent, the women’s team seems cautiously optimistic about next week’s national championship race. “The [regional meet] made us realize we were pretty good,” Kruppa said. “But Stanford, BYU, Colorado and Wisconsin all have good teams as well. [The outcome of the national meet] will depend on who goes out and runs good races. We just need to do our best, and hopefully things will fall into place.”

“Mentally, we’re prepared to go back to Iowa,” Fogg said. “We just need to rest so we’re ready physically.”

The men’s team won their meet, scoring 41 points to top No. 19 Villanova. The Wildcats scored 57 points and were followed by St. Francis (98), Penn State (112) and Princeton (147).

Senior David Rodriguez placed the highest for Georgetown, earning runner-up honors in the race. Rodriguez’s time of 30:25.20 fell just four seconds short of winner Stephen Ondieki of Fairleigh Dickerson. Sophomore Mike Smith (30:33.49) and freshman Franklyn Sanchez (30:33.86) took fifth and sixth, respectively. Seniors Corey Smith (30:56.29) and Kyle Smits (30:56.94) added two more top-15 finishes to round out the Georgetown point scorers.

Senior Matt Dunn and sophomore Dylan Welsh also finished in the top quarter of the 177-runner field.

“Our team had a good spread throughout the race, but it was nerve-racking early on,” Mike Smith said.

“With two miles to go, the pace kind of dropped,” USA junior cross-country champion Sanchez said. “People were bumping each other around, and I didn’t feel comfortable anymore.”

The congestion slowed the tempo of the race down, and for a while, it looked as if the Hoya runners were going to have a difficult time breaking apart from the massive field.

“We just had to hope that in the end, our strength and training would help us pull away,” Smith said.

In the final mile of the race, Rodriguez and Ondieki eventually broke from the tight pack to lead the group.

“David ran very controlled, and going up the final hill he gradually pulled away from the rest of our pack and moved up to second,” Assistant Coach Patrick Henner said. “It’s not surprising. David is a great runner, and I think he’s one of the top in the country right now.”

“I felt very relaxed and in control,” Rodriguez said. “The race felt like it went slow, but I think it’s the best I’ve ran this year.”

Late surges by Mike Smith, Sanchez, Corey Smith and Smits solidified the win for the Hoyas.

“The team did really well,” Welsh said. “Everyone did what they were supposed to do, and that’s why we came out on top.”

The first place finish marked the second team victory for the men this season, as they added to their earlier success at the Great American Cross Country Festival in September.

“It was a good effort and we got the job done, but now its time to move on to the NCAAs,” Smith said. “I believe we’re a top three team, but in the NCAA [Championships] anything can happen. If all of us go out and run good solid races, we can finish in the top five. If everyone runs great races we can be top three. Stanford and Colorado are deep and talented teams, but if something goes wrong, we’re not far behind. I think we’ve got a strong team and now we’re ready to go to war.”

The national championships take place Nov. 20 in Ames, Iowa.

More to Discover