Nittany Lion Dan Mazzocco takes first at NCAA Region II Cross Country Meet
LOCK HAVEN, PA., NOV. 15, 2003- Sophomore Dan Mazzocco (Pittsburgh, Pa.) flew to first place at the NCAA Region II Meet hosted by Bucknell University at Lock Haven University¡¯s West Branch Cross Country Course Saturday. The Nittany Lions finished fifth in the team standings with a total of 187 points.
The No. 16 ranked Villanova team took first with a total of 55 points. The No. 9 ranked Georgetown Hoyas took second (57 points). Princeton was third (91 points), American University took fourth (95 points) and Penn State was fifth.
Mazzocco, who led Penn State in every race on the season and was chosen Big Ten Cross Country Athlete of the Week twice, finished the 10 kilometer race in 30:26 becoming just the third Nittany Lion to win an NCAA Regional and the first since 1988. This is Mazzocco's first full season competing after he was sidelined by an injury after winning the Penn State Spiked Shoe in 2002. Mazzocco automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 24 in Waterloo, Iowa.
Senior Chris Pruitt (Flemington, N.J.) finished 35th in a time of 31:29. Junior Joel Moceri (Reading, Pa.) took 39th in a time 31:33 and senior Josh Loren (Waterford, Pa.) finished out the top 50 for the Nittany Lions coming in at 46th (31:44).
Freshman Dan Diechert (Gibbsboro, N.J.) was 66th (32:08) and sophomore Dorian McDonald (Bethlehem, Pa.) was 76th in a time of 32:25. Senior Matt Lincoln (Toronto, Canada), one of the Penn State co-captains, was 113th in a time of 33:39.
The top two teams, Villanova and Georgetown, automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships to be held on Nov. 24 in Waterloo, Iowa. Teams can then be chosen as at-large selections based on their season records. The top four individuals that are not on one of the teams that have automatically qualified or have been chosen at-large and also placed in the top 15 in the Regional are then also selected to compete in the Championships.
The Nittany Lions will compete at the ICAAAA Championships in Van Cortland Park, N.Y. on Nov 22. The race is set to start at 11:00 a.m.