Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cross Country Championship Preview

The 18th annual Centennial Conference Cross Country championships return to the Free State for the first time since 2005 as Johns Hopkins serves as the host of the 2010 event. Since the inception of the Centennial in 1993, the Haverford men and the Dickinson women have been the dominant programs. The Fords have won 15 Conference titles, while the Red Devils have captured 10 championships, including eight during the last decade.

In even-numbered years, the men’s race kicks things off and the two teams to watch are Dickinson and Haverford. The Red Devils ended the Fords’ 15-year run at the top of the Conference in 2008 and defended their title last fall in Gettysburg, tallying a Centennial record 16 points. Haverford finished second both years and looks to return to the top spot in 2010 with a strong team that is ranked sixth nationally.

Seniors Joseph Carpenter and Anders Hulleberg lead the fifth-ranked Fords. Carpenter was Haverford’s top finisher at the Paul Short Run, while Hulleberg was the top finisher for the Fords at the Princeton Invitational. Hulleberg is a two-time first-team All-Centennial runner, finishing third in 2007 and fifth last season. Keep an eye on sophomore Jordan Schilit and senior Chris Southwick, as well as senior Lucas Fuentes.

Dickinson, ranked 13th nationally, is led by the 1-2 combo of seniors Brian Krusell (pictured) and Kent Pecora. Krusell has been a first-team All-Centennial runner (finished in the top seven at the Championship) for the past three years and can join Haverford’s Karl Paranya (1993-96) as the only runner to earn first-team honors all four years. Senior Mike Tarkoff finished fourth at the championship last fall, earning first-team All-Centennial recognition.

Johns Hopkins, ranked sixth in the region, are led by a pair of seniors in Steve Tobochnik and Brandon Hahn. Tobochnik became just the second Blue Jay runner to earn first-team All-Centennial honors, placing seventh a year ago.

Others to keep an eye on include senior Bobby Torphy from Muhlenberg, junior Brendan Repack of Gettysburg and sophomore Aidan DuMont-McCaffrey of Swarthmore.

The women’s championship could be a three-team race between defending champion Johns Hopkins, Dickinson, and Haverford– all three among the top 10 in the Mideast Region. The Blue Jays, ranked fourth nationally, return a pair of first-team All-Centennial runners in junior Cecilia Furlong and sophomore Liz Provost, who finished third and seventh, respectively, last season. Senior Megan Brower and freshman Lara Shegoski have also impressed for the Jays.

Dickinson has finished second behind Hopkins in each of the last two seasons and is led by junior Catherine Campbell, who placed sixth at the 2009 championship. First-year Taylor Ludman and senior Kim Powell will also contend for medals for the 18th ranked Red Devils.

Haverford junior Emily Lipman was the Centennial Runner of the Year in 2009, capturing the individual title at the championship. She has finished in the top seven in each of her two campaigns with the 33rd ranked Fords. Freshmen Emily Scott and Erin Seglem, along with junior Alice Vienneau will also look to return the Conference trophy to the Main Line for the first time since 1996.

Others to watch in medal contention include McDaniel senior Lindsay Wilson, Gettysburg sophomore Kerry Campbell, Muhlenberg freshman Nicole Cronin and Swarthmore freshman Emma Saarel.

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