NCAA Regionals: 8 NY colleges sending teams to nationals

8 NY NCAA DI and DIII teams heading to Indiana for nationals

Iona, Syracuse, Plattsburgh, Cortland, NYU, Geneseo, St. Lawrence, and Stonybrook are all heading to nationals in Indiana. Nicole Blood and Lindsey Sherf, former New Yorker's, will also be racing for Oregon. Many other NY prep stars will be on the line next weekend.

Iona men win Northeast Regional, return to NCAA

By Jack Pfeifer

Mohamed Khadraoui won the Northeast Regional Division I NCAA cross country race on Saturday morning at Van Cortlandt Park and led the Iona men to their 4th consecutive regional championship and into the NCAA championships.

The Gaels ran a close 2nd to Oregon at last year’s NCAA. The Ducks won the West Regional and will return to defend their national championship. The nationals will be held next Monday, Nov. 24, at Indiana State University in Terre Haute.

“I’m extremely pleased with our performance today,” first-year Coach Ric Santos said of his Iona squad. “The guys executed the game plan to perfection. They knew we needed our top three guys to finish in the first 6 or 7.”

Harbert Okuti finished 4th in 31:28, 17 seconds behind Khadraoui and a step ahead of teammate Andrew Ledwith, who was 5th.

“Chris Vizcaino and Alex Soderberg had excellent finishes to round out our scorers,” Santos said. “It was an overall team effort.”

Vizcaino finished 11th, Soderberg 25th.

Iona scored 46 points, and Providence took the other automatic qualifying spot, finishing 2nd with 88. Columbia ran a strong 3rd with 103, putting all its scorers in the top 24, but the Lions were not one of the 13 at-large selections. Jeff Randall, 17th, was Columbia’s first finisher.

Columbia had similar disappointment in the women’s race, where Providence and Syracuse went 1-2 and Boston College and Stony Brook went 3-4 and received at-large bids. Columbia, 5th, was not selected. The women’s scores were Providence 36, Syracuse 90, BC 95, Stony Brook 118 and Columbia 140.

The top female finisher for Columbia, Meaghan Lessard, finished 10th and advanced to the NCAA meet as an individual competitor.

Danette Doetzel won the 6k race for Providence in 20:56. Completing the scoring for the Friars were two freshman New Yorkers, Mary Kate Champagne (11th) and Hannah Davidson (13th).
Other women’s teams included Binghamton (20th), Marist (23rd), Iona (25th), St. John’s (26th), Canisius (27th), Colgate (30th) and Manhattan (31st).

In the men’s race, senior Girma Segni finished 26th for Marist, which finished 10th, followed by Army (13th), Binghamton (15th), Stony Brook (16th), Buffalo (18th), Colgate (19th), Manhattan (23rd), Fordham (24th) and Wagner (25th).

Georgetown, Villanova advanced all four squads

Georgetown won the men’s Mid-Atlantic Region at Princeton and picked up an at-large berth in the women’s race, while Villanova advanced at-large in both sexes.

Andrew Bumbalough won the men’s race as the Hoyas went 1-3-5-7-11 to defeat Penn State 27-73. Newcomer Hugo Beamish had a big breakthrough in 2nd place for ‘Nova, which finished 3rd with 84 points. Princeton, 4th with 145, advanced individuals Michael Maag (4th) and freshman Brian Leung (9th).

Princeton and West Virginia tied with 51 points in the women’s race, ahead of Villanova (59) and Georgetown (90). Villanova’s Frances Koons won the race in 21:11, defeating Liz Costello of Princeton (21:15) and Bridget Franek of Penn State. Princeton went 2-7-10-12-20. Georgetown was led by senior Liz Maloy (8th). Cheyenne Ogletree was 24th for Rutgers, but failed to get an individual berth. Penn State finished 5th, Maryland 6th, Rutgers 14th, Rider 18th.

New York sophomore Callie Hogan had a big race for Villanova, finishing 11th as the Wildcats’ No. 3 finisher.

In the men’s race, Rutgers finished 15th, Monmouth 19th, Seton Hall 21st, Rider 23rd, Lafayette 24th.

The Florida State women won the South Regional in Maryville, Tenn., 41-64 over Florida. Tennessee was 3rd at 116 but did not get an at-large bid. Hollie Knight of Auburn won the race over Sarah Bowman of Tennessee, as both will advance as individual runners. Susan Kuijken, 3rd, led Florida State. Also competing for Tennessee were New Yorkers Brittany Sheffey (23rd) and Rolanda Bell (38th).

Alabama defeated the Auburn men 49-59 in a battle of Kenyan teams in the South. Florida State, 3rd with 66, also received an at-large spot.

In the Southeast Regional, the University of Virginia, led by first-year Coach Jason Vigilante, qualified both teams. The Cavaliers won the women’s race over Kentucky, 105-126, and lost to the William & Mary men by 1 point, 66-67.

Tasmin Fanning of Virginia Tech and Brie Felnagle of North Carolina were 1-2 in the women’s race. Surprising Kentucky was led by the twin sisters Jessica and Jenna Ortman, New Yorkers who finished 10th and 15th respectively for the Wildcats.

The men’s race was won by Samuel Chelanga of Liberty, one of the favorites to win the individual championship at the NCAA. Chelanga, a transfer from Fairleigh Dickinson, won the 10k race in 29:53, 24 seconds ahead of Bobby Mack of N.C. State. Chelanga’s Liberty teammate Jordan McDougal, the younger brother of last year’s NCAA champion, Josh McDougal, finished 12th and also advanced as an individual competitor.

The young Duke women’s team, which finished 4th, had solid performances by freshmen Carly Seymour (26th) and Suejin Ahn (40th).

Arkansas advances, but fails to win

The Arkansas men’s team advanced out of the South Central Regional at Baylor, but lost at the Regional level for the first time in 19 years. Texas A&M, led by individual winner Shadrack Songok, beat the Razorbacks 39-44. Samuel Kosgei of Lamar was 2nd, Scott MacPherson of Arkansas 3rd.
Lance Harter’s Arkansas women’s team won the Regional and advanced to the NCAA for the 22nd year in a row. “We had to be tactically smart with this race and especially intelligent with our effort,” Harter said. “The NCAA Championships are only eight days away and we didn’t want to give it all we had today and have nothing left for the NCAAs. We wanted to get the win without overextending ourselves.”

In the Great Lakes Regional at Purdue, Michigan and Wisconsin advanced both teams automatically. The Michigan women won, defeating Wisconsin 72-80, with Michigan State (83) and Notre Dame (125) also advancing. Nicole Bush of Michigan State finished 1st, ahead of Nicole Edwards of Michigan and Gwen Jorgensen of Wisconsin. New Jersey native Danielle Tauro was the No. 3 finisher for Michigan, finishing 16th.

The Wisconsin men, coached by first-year head man Mick Byrne, won 39-62 over Wisconsin. Surprising Butler, 3rd with 104, received an at-large bid.

The Badgers were an impressive 4-5-6-7, followed by Matt Withrow in 17th, making clear that they will be a threat at the NCAA championships. New Jersey’s Craig Forys finished 10th for the runnerup Wolverines.

The Oklahoma State men, ranked No. 3 nationally, won the Midwest Regional on their home course, while the Colorado men won the Mountain Regional. The Texas Tech women, led by Sally Kipyego, two-time individual national champion, won the Mountain women’s race over surprising New Mexico, whose 2nd-place finish was one of the biggest surprises of the weekend.

But the real muscle-flexing was taking place on Saturday at Stanford, where the nation’s top-ranked teams in both sexes won the West Regional races.

In the men’s race , the Oregon Ducks, defending national champions, defeated Stanford 38-72. The first seven men’s teams from this region advanced to the NCAA. The Ducks were paced by their senior star, Galen Rupp, who ran a phenomenal 27:41.24 on a course said to be perhaps 40 yards short of the full 10k distance.

“Galen ran great,” said Vin Lananna, the Oregon coach. “That’s really an incredible performance. He was out front from the gun and is just really running well right now.”

For Rupp, this is his last chance to win the NCAA individual cross country championship. The last Duck to win this title was Alberto Salazar, Rupp’s personal coach, 30 years ago.

Rupp was followed by Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott (2nd, 28:32), freshman Luke Puskedra (6th, 28:45), Kenny Klotz (14th) and Diego Mercado (15th). Andrew Wheating and Matthew Centrowitz, who have run for Oregon earlier this fall, did not run at Regionals, making it unclear who Oregon’s seven representatives will be in Terre Haute.

No. 2-ranked Stanford was led by freshman Chris Derrick, who finished 5th and defeated fellow teenager Puskedra by a second. The University of Portland, ranked 4th nationally, was led by the 3-4 finish of Kenyan freshman David Kipchumba (28:36) and senior David Kinsella (28:43). Portland finished 3rd with 85 points, ahead of Cal, Washington, UCLA and Cal Poly.

The women’s race was won handily by the top-ranked Washington Huskies, who scored 25 points yet rested their ace, Kendra Schaaf. The Huskies went 3-4-5-6-7, trailing Oregon’s Alex Kosinski and Nicole Blood. Washington used Christine Babcock, Marie Lawrence, Katie Follett, Anita Campbell and Amanda Miller.

Oregon, 2nd with 62 points, also used Mattie Bridgmon (13th), Lindsey Scherf (19th), Zoe Nelson (27th) and Zoe Buckman (34th). Melissa Grelli did not run. The Ducks were NCAA runnersup a year ago behind Stanford, which qualified here this year at-large.

“It was a very nice performance for Alex and Nicole,” Lananna said. “They ran well together. But today was really all about getting qualified for nationals, which is what they did.”