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Nov. 14, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Thanks to outstanding efforts at yesterday's NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, and stellar results from throughout the season, both the Nittany Lion men's and women's cross country teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on November 22, via at-large bids announced by the NCAA on Sunday evening. The Penn State women's team will be making its second-straight appearance in Terre Haute, while the men's squad has now been to the NCAA meet in two of the last three years. Historically speaking, the competition will mark the first time since 1994 that the Nittany Lion men's and women's teams will both be on the starting line at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
"Our teams ran with phenomenal efforts yesterday and throughout the year to put themselves in position to be considered for the NCAA Championships," said Director and Head Coach of Penn State Track and Field/Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan. "It was our programmatic goal this year to have both teams at the national championships, and this is a huge accomplishment for our program."
The Nittany Lions both posted sensational efforts on their home course on Saturday, with the 28th-ranked women's squad upsetting No. 19 Princeton to claim third place in the team standings. Junior Caitlin Lane (Greenwich, N.Y.) led a spirited effort by the Nittany Lions, finishing with all-region status in 12th-place overall. Lane paced a contingent of five Nittany Lions among the top 25 competitors, followed by junior Kara Millhouse (Boiling Springs, Pa.), sophomore Natalie Bower (Pleasant Unity, Pa.), and senior Maura Ryan (Doylestown, Pa.) in 20th, 21st, and 22nd, respectively. Sophomore Brooklyne Ridder (Cincinnati, Ohio) rounded out the Penn State top five, finishing 25th overall to earn the last all-region spot.
Juniors Kyle Dawson (Coatesville, Pa.) and Vince McNally (Paoli, Pa.) propelled the 26th-ranked men's squad to a fourth-place showing in the team standings, with second and third-place finishes, individually. Career-best regional efforts from both athletes, Dawson earned his second all-region finish, while McNally turned in his third-straight all-region performance. Senior Ryan Foster (Tasmania, Australia) finished just outside all-region status in 26th, while junior Chris Cipro (Harmony, Pa.) and freshman Nick Scarpello (Jamison, Pa.) turned in 28th, and 40th-place showings, respectively, to complete the Lions' scoring effort.
"I'm very proud of our captains - Kyle Dawson, Chris Cipro, Caitlin Lane, and Kara Millhouse - for having a huge role in our teams' successes this year, as well as individual efforts from all of our athletes that spurred us to great results yesterday," continued Sullivan. "We look forward to NCAAs in just over a week, and couldn't be more excited to have one more chance to show our Blue and White pride."
The Nittany Lion men's squad has been outstanding throughout the fall, picking up a regular-season win over Alabama, and two victories over Villanova, which both automatically qualified for the Championships during Saturday's regional competitions. Of the other NCAA qualifiers, the Nittany Lions also scored a victory over Notre Dame at the Notre Dame Invitational in October. On the women's side, the Nittany Lions were selected via a victory over automatic-qualifier Rice at the Roy Griak Invitational in September, as well as a win over at-large advancer Toledo, which was also at the Griak competition.
The Mid-Atlantic Region also proved to be one of the deepest nationally, as four teams qualified in both the men's and women's fields, with Princeton, Georgetown, Penn State, and Villanova all advancing both squads to Terre Haute.
The NCAA Championships are set for Monday, November 22, at Indiana State University. Race times are slated for a 12:08 p.m., start for the women, followed by the men's race at 12:48.
Men's Team Qualifers
North Carolina State
William & Mary
Women's Team Qualifiers
North Carolina State