trackboundUSA's NCAA XC Preview - USA Athletics Scholarships

trackboundUSA’s NCAA XC Preview

NCAA XC Regionals

Out of the hundreds that started back in August, only the lucky few remain. The NCAA Cross Country Championship meet is now upon us. On Monday 21st November the nation’s elite will lock horns in Terre Haute, Indiana, or as it is now becoming known ‘Cross Country Town USA’.
It goes without saying that the meet is fiercely competitive. 255 of the best student athletes, each having earned their spot in the race, and there is no such thing as wildcards. To get some idea of the depth involved, we recommend checking out the PBs of athletes who finish in the 150s or worse. A bad patch mid-race can cost you 50 places; likewise some teams like to charge through the field during the second half. Performing well in Terre Hatue is therefore as much about strategy as it is shape of the athlete.

It is also worth mentioning how the build up adds to the sense of occasion. Athletes typically arrive in town on Friday, three days prior to the meet. Whilst Terre Haute has become famous for its cross country course, there is not a huge amount else to do there. Jogging the course, watching movies, shopping, sitting around in the hotel; it is the same for everyone. On the Saturday evening a pre-race banquet is held in the Indiana State basketball arena. This will be a combination of awards and speeches, and if anything helps to build the anticipation ahead of the race. We did always use to wonder why no such banquet was held post race but that discussion can be left to the NCAA for another day.

As per usual there is plenty of British and Irish interest. As a reference point, the most recent British and Irish winners of the men’s and women’s races include:

  • 2000: Keith Kelly (Ireland & Providence)
  • 1989: John Nuttall (Britain & Iowa State)
  • 1990 & 1991: Sonia O’Sullivan (Ireland & Villanova)

Last year, Oklahoma State men defended their 2009 title, and will be going for the three-peat this year. This feat has only been accomplished before by the crack outfits of Villanova ’66-68, UTEP ’78-81, Arkansas ’90-93 AND ’98-2000 and to a lesser extent Drake in the 40s. Both UTEP and Arkansas have achieved four straight titles. Arizona’s Lawi Lalang looks unbeatable, and has been exactly that this season, but many things contrive to make the NCAAs unpredictable, not least Iona’s Leonard Korir and the likes of Hill, Batty and Derrick.

On the women’s side, Villanova will look to last year’s individual champion Sheila Reid to lead from the front in defence of their team title. They will be hard to beat as a unit, however Reid will have competition on the day. Like Oklahoma State on the men’s side, they also are looking for the three-peat. This would not be the first time in their history that they have achieved this feat however as they did win six straight titiles from 1989-1994.

The ‘House of Run’ podcast looks this week at the NCAAs in detail. You can listen to it here.

The meet will be streamed live on NCAA.com. Keep up to date through Flotrack for streaming times, as well as their pre and post-event coverage.

Our predictions for the day are individual wins for Arizona’s Lawi Lalang and SMU’s Silje Fjortoft, and after careful deliberation, and a loyalty to a team with Brit and Irish interest, we have the men’s team race panning out as follows: Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Colorado and BYU. Wisconsin have looked the dominant force in the regular season but wary of last year’s Stanford performance, as well as the experience and craft of Dave Smith and OSU, we are opting for the Cowboys. For the women, it’s Karen Harvey’s FSU followed by Colorado, Villanova, Stanford and Georgetown. With these predictions in mind, there should be two Brits, namely Tom Farrell and Hannah Brooks, walking away from Terre Haute as national champions.

Also taking place this weekend are the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, which are being held in Spokane, Washington. Whilst not as prestigious as the DI equivalent, the DII Championships are nevertheless still very competitive. Adams State has been the dominant team in recent years, winning the last 3 men’s team championships, and 7 of the last 8 women’s championships. Matt Bond competes for Adams this year.

An interesting point to note is that unlike previous years athletes cannot be selected for the Great Britain team for the European Cross based on NCAA performances. It remains to be seen whether anyone competing on Monday will attempt the notoriously difficult double by running in the British trial at Liverpool five days later.

Below we have previewed each British and Irish athlete expecting to toe the line on Monday and Saturday (DII). Results at the major regular season meets, championship meets and previous NCAA performances are included:

The Guys The Girls
Callum Hawkins – Butler

Ross Clarke – Butler

Tom Farrell – Oklahoma State

Gaz Davies – Tulsa

Andy Heyes – Tulsa

Tom Marshall – Tulsa

Ross Millington – New Mexico

David McCarthy – Providence

Shane Quinn – Providence

Ben Connor – Providence

Mitch Goose – Iona

Craig Murphy – Iona

David Forrester – Florida State

Breandan O’Neil – Florida State

Matt Bond – Adams State (DII)

India Lee – Iowa State

Ruth Senior – New Mexico

Sarah Waldron – New Mexico

Natalie Gray – New Mexico

Kirsty Milner – New Mexico

Imogen Ainsworth – New Mexico

Hollie Rowland – Iona

Hannah Brooks – Florida State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Callum Hawkins – Butler

  • Griak 7th
  • Notre Dame 5th
  • Horizon League 1st
  • Great Lakes Regional 1st

Ross Clarke – Butler

  • Griak 61st
  • Notre Dame 44th
  • Horizon League 2nd
  • Great Lakes Regional 13th

Tom Farrell – Oklahoma State

  • Cowboy Jamboree 7th
  • Chile Pepper 4th
  • Big 12s 8th
  • Mid-West Regional 6th
  • NCAA XC: 2010 29th

Gaz Davies – Tulsa

  • Cowboy Jamboree 50th
  • Pre Nats 35th
  • Conference USA 7th
  • Mid-West Regional 23rd

Andy Heyes – Tulsa

  • Cowboy Jamboree 26th
  • Pre Nats 43rd
  • Conference USA 5th
  • Mid-West Regional 26th

Tom Marshall – Tulsa

  • Cowboy Jamboree 107th
  • Pre Nats 41st
  • Conference USA 9th
  • Mid-West Regional 30th

Ross Millington – New Mexico

  • Notre Dame 9th
  • Wisconsin 20th
  • Mountain West 1st
  • Mountain Regional 3rd
  • NCAA XC: 2009 150th
  • NCAA XC: 2010 96th

David McCarthy – Providence

  • Wisconsin 21st
  • Big East Championships 2nd
  • North East Regional 2nd
  • NCAA XC: 2007 68th
  • NCAA XC: 2008 19th
  • NCAA XC: 2009 84th

Shane Quinn – Providence

  • Paul Short 14th
  • Wisconsin 31st
  • Big East Championships 28th
  • North East Regional 17th

Ben Connor – Providence

  • Paul Short 54th
  • Wisconsin 243rd
  • Big East Championships 35th

Mitch Goose – Iona

  • Dr Boyle Meet 2nd
  • Pre Nats 25th
  • MAAC Championships 3rd
  • North East Regional 5th
  • NCAA XC: 2010 65th

Craig Murphy – Iona

  • Dr Boyle Meet 9th
  • Pre Nats 147th
  • MAAC Championships 5th
  • North East Regional 17th

David Forrester – Flordia State

  • Notre Dame 18th
  • Pre Nats 5th
  • ACC Championships 5th
  • South Regional 1st
  • NCAA XC: 2010 53rd

Breandan O’Neil – Florida State

  • Notre Dame 64th
  • Pre Nats 27th
  • ACC Championships 12th
  • South Regional 4th

Matt Bond – Adams State (DII)

  • Joe Vigil Open 7th
  • Cowboy Jamboree 27th
  • RMAC Championships 3rd
  • Central Regional Championships 4th

India Lee – Iowa State

  • Griak 44th
  • Big 12 45th
  • Midwest Regional 41st
  • NCAA XC: 2010 172nd

Ruth Senior – New Mexico

  • Notre Dame 11th
  • Wisconsin 28th
  • Mountain West 1st
  • Mountain Regional 7th
  • NCAA XC: 2010 33rd
  • NCAA XC: 2009 46th

Sarah Waldron – New Mexico

  • Notre Dame 94th
  • Wisconsin 168th
  • Mountain West 7th
  • Mountain Regional 13th
  • NCAA XC: 2010 44th

Natalie Gray – New Mexico

  • Wisconsin 59th
  • Mountain West 4th
  • Mountain Regional 20th
  • NCAA XC: 2010 15th

Kirsty Milner – New Mexico

  • Notre Dame 20th
  • Wisconsin 31st
  • Mountain West 6th
  • Mountain Regional 21st
  • NCAA XC: 2010 56th

Imogen Ainsworth – New Mexico

  • Wisconsin 156th
  • Mountain West 12th
  • Mountain Regional 23th
  • Notre Dame 60th

Hollie Rowland – Iona

  • Dr. Boyle 1st
  • MAAC 1st
  • Northeast Regional 3rd
  • Pre Nats 6th

Hannah Brooks – Florida State

  • Notre Dame 10th
  • Clemson 10th
  • ACC 3rd
  • South Regional 2nd
  • Pre Nats 8th
  • NCAA XC: 2010 134th

 

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