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Nov. 13, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Bolstered by a grand total of seven NCAA All-Region finishes, the Nittany Lion cross country teams recorded a third-place standing on the women's side, to go along with a fourth-place effort from the men, Saturday at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships at the Blue and White Golf Courses. Juniors Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) and Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) propelled the men's efforts individually, taking second and third, respectively, while junior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) paced the women with a 12th-place showing.
The 28th-ranked Nittany Lion women scored a third-place finish in the team standings, upsetting No. 19 Princeton for bronze-medal honors. Top-ranked Villanova - the defending region and NCAA Champions - cruised to victory with 29 points, followed by No. 5 Georgetown in second with 40 points. Both Villanova and Georgetown will advance to the NCAA Championships, with the remaining teams will be eligible for one of 13 at-large bids. Penn State took third with a 91-point total, with Princeton in fourth with 102. West Virginia rounded out the top five with 152. Villanova's Sheila Reid ran away with the individual title, posting a finishing time of 19 minutes, and 34 seconds - a new course record. The women's finish was also the best by a Nittany Lion squad since Penn State placed third in 2002.
No. 17 Princeton captured the men's crown with 53 points to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, followed by No. 29 Villanova in second with 61 - also earning an automatic berth. Georgetown posted a third-place finish - behind an individual victory from Ayalew Taye - with 78 points. The Nittany Lions placed fourth overall with a 99-point total. Navy followed in fifth, with Penn and American taking sixth and seventh.
Moving up to 10,000-meters for the first time this season, Dawson mounted a spirited charge over the last 800-meters - coming within a second of the individual title - finishing in 30:06. The effort was the highest regional finish of Dawson's career, and the second all-region standing. McNally was on his teammate's heels in third overall, breaking the tape in 30:07. McNally now has three all-region certificates to his credit, and also earned the highest standing of his career in the Mid-Atlantic field.
Senior Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia) finished just outside of all-region honors, taking 26th overall in 31:04. Junior Chris Cipro (Harmony, Pa.) also posted a top-30 effort, placing 28th overall in 31:08. Freshman Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.) stepped up as the Nittany Lions' fifth for the first time this season, posting a 40th-place effort in his first 10K appearance, running 31:32.
On the women's side, Lane led the effort, placing 12th overall in 20:34 - her fastest time on the Penn State course of the season, and her first career all-region finish. The Lions managed a blanket finish with their second, third, and fourth finishers, as junior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.), sophomore Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.), and senior Maura Ryan (Doylestown, Pa.) taking 20th, 21st, and 22nd overall. All three Nittany Lions clocked their fastest 6K efforts of the season on their home course, going 21:00, 21:06, and 21:10.
Rounding out the Lion scoring contingent was sophomore Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio), who placed 25th to claim the final all-region position in 21:14. The all-region finishes were the first for all five Penn State athletes.
Running an outstanding race as the Lions' number six was freshman Emily Giannotti (Coudersport, Pa.), who turned in a 31st-place effort in 21:39. Sophomore Lindsey Graybill (Macungie, Pa.) also claimed a spot in the top 50, crossing the line in 21:59 for 48th.
The Lions will now await the NCAA's announcement of the at-large bids, set to be announced on Sunday evening. The NCAA Championships are slated for Monday, November 22, at Indiana State, in Terre Haute, Ind.
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