|Follow PSU Cross Country:||Follow @PennStateTFXC|
Nov. 12, 2015
Nationally Ranked Teams
|#15 Georgetown||#10 Penn State|
|#22 Villanova||#14 Georgetown|
|#23 Penn||#23 Princeton|
|Navy (RV)||#26 Villanova|
|West Virgina (RV)|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's and women's cross country teams are set to compete at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Regional in Princeton, N.J. The meet starts at noon with the women’s 6,000-meter run, followed by the men’s 10,000-meter run at 1 p.m.
The women’s 6,000-meter run features four teams ranked in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Poll. No. 10 Penn State, No. 14 Georgetown, No. 23 Princeton and No. 26 Villanova comprise the ranked teams in the women’s race.
In the men’s 10,000-meter run, No. 15 Georgetown, No. 22 Villanova, No. 23 Penn comprise the field of ranked teams on the men’s side.
The top two teams from each race will automatically advance to the NCAA meet (Nov. 21), while the rest of the teams will hope for an at-large following their respective regional meet.
Individually, 36 runners will automatically advance to the NCAA meet if they are the top four individual finishers that placed in the top-25 at their regional meet and are not on a NCAA-qualifying team.
Two runners will also receive an at-large bid, but they must also finish in the top-25 at their regional meet.
Last Time Out
The Penn State women's cross country program won its second Big Ten Championship on Nov. 1 with 53 points, placing three runners in the top-10 at the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course. The championship marks the Nittany Lions' first title since 2009.
The Nittany Lions were led by senior Tori Gerlach (Perkasie, Pa.) with a time of 20:04.9 (4th-place), followed by Elizabeth Chikotas (Hellertown, Pa.) (6th-place), and Jillian Hunsberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) in 9th-place.
Penn State's five point victory over Michigan tied for the fourth-smallest margin of victory in Big Ten women's cross country championship history with Wisconsin, who defeated Michigan by a score of 31-36 back in 1998.
Penn State entered the meet as one of five nationally ranked teams, including the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines who finished the meet in second with 58 points.
Along with Gerlach, Chikotas, and Hunsbrger, redshirt-freshman Tessa Barrett (Waverly, Pa.) in 12th-place (20:21.4), and junior Julie Kocjancic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) in 22nd-place (20:46.5), rounded out the scoring for the Nittany Lions.
With their Big Ten cross country championship, the Penn State women have nine combined cross country and track & field Big ten championships since the 2007-08 academic year, four more than the next closest team in the conference over that span of time.
Last Year at the Mid-Atlantic Regional
The Penn State women's cross country team recorded a fifth-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional as true freshman Jillian Hunsberger (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finished 11th (20:49) to pace the Nittany Lions.
With her 11th-place finish, Hunsberger automatically qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Hunsberger was one of the top-four individuals on a non-NCAA Championship qualifying team.
As a team, Penn State finished fifth with their score of 155 points.
For the men, Fifth-year senior Matt Fischer (Kennett Square, Pa.) posted a time of 30 minutes, 16 seconds to win the Mid-Atlantic Regional at the Blue-White Golf Course in University Park. Fischer advanced to the NCAA Cross Country Championships posting the highest for the Nittany Lions since Kyle Dawson placed second in 2010.
As a team, the Penn State men finished third with their score of 87 points.
The women’s team is currently ranked No. 10 in the nation by the USTFCCCA. At the regional level, the women are ranked first and the men are sixth.
The 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships are slated for Nov. 21 at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.
For more on Nittany Lion cross country, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateTFXC.