Women Win NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional
Nov. 9, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Taking full advantage of running on the their home, as well as an unseasonably warm November afternoon, the Nittany Lion women's cross country squad took top honors at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, Friday at the Blue-White Golf Course. Edging No. 9 and defending NCAA Champion Georgetown, 61-63, the Nittany Lions will automatically advance to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, set for November 17, at the University of Louisville.
The Nittany Lions came out on top of a barn burner of a competition, securing their first ever victory at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional. Penn State led the way with 61 points, followed by Georgetown in second with 63, and Villanova, who has won two of the last three NCAA titles, in third, with a total score of 96 points.
The Nittany Lions, currently ranked No. 15, nationally, were paced by five All-Region (Top 25) finishers, including three in the top 10, led by junior Victoria Perri (Philadelphia, Pa.), who finished fourth overall in 20:31, for the 6,000-meter course. Perri's finish is the highest regional effort by a Nittany Lion since Bridget Franekturned in the same placing at the 2009 Championships. Perri has been on fire on the Blue-White Course this season, having taken runner-up honors at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational in September.
Senior Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) wasn't far behind, finishing sixth overall - the highest regional finish of her career - in 20:33. Ridder, who will make her fourth-straight appearance at the NCAA Championships, also earned her third-straight USTFCCA All-Region certificate. Rounding out the top 10 in the women's race was junior Rebekka Simko(Mentor, Ohio), who crossed 10th overall, with a finishing time of 20:44 - also good for an All-Region finish.
Sophomore Leigha Anderson (Carlisle, Pa.) crossed as the Nittany Lions' fourth finisher, taking 20th overall in her first NCAA regional appearance. Anderson finished in 21:14 - her career-best time on the Blue-White course by more than 40 seconds. Coming in as the fifth and final scorer for Penn State was junior Emily Giannotti(Coudersport, Pa.), who finished on Anderson's heels in 21:17 - good for 21st overall and her first career All-Region effort.
The Lions were equally as strong through six and seven, as sophomore Katie Rodden (Ardmore, Pa.) and Natalie Bower(Pleasant Unity, Pa.), as both turned in top 30 finishes, taking 26th and 30th, respectively, finishing in 21:25, and 21:38.
Senior Sam Masters(Columbia, Mo.) led things on the men's side, taking 12th overall with a finishing time of 30:48 over 10,000-meters. Masters will remain alive for an at-large qualifying bid individually, as the top four individuals, who are not on qualifying teams, will be advanced to the NCAA Championships.
The Nittany Lions would place fifth overall in the team standings, following a tight team race, which resulted in Georgetown in first with 56 points, Villanova with 57, and Princeton with 61. American took fourth overall with 145 points, to edge the Nittany Lions with 147.
Senior Tyler Jones (Chalfont, Pa.) would also earn All-Region honors, finishing 25th overall in 31:07. Junior Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.) was the Nittany Lions' number three, finishing just off All-Region status in 28th overall, in 31:09. Senior Tyler Corkedale(West Windsor, N.J.) placed as the Lions' number four in his last Penn State cross country appearance, finishing 40th overall in 31:29.
The Nittany Lions also got top 50 finishes from their fifth and sixth finishers, including redshirt-freshmen Robby Creese (Mount Airy, Md.), and redshirt-sophomore Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.), who crossed the line in 31:30, and 31:31, taking 42nd, and 46th, respectively. Sophomore Chris Campbell(Newtown, Pa.) was the Nittany Lion number seven finishing 94th overall in 32:48.
Official announcements for the NCAA Championships are set for 12:00 p.m., on Saturday, on NCAA.com. The NCAA Cross Country Championships are slated for November 17, at the University of Louisville.