Nov. 8, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa.--Following a two-week layoff the men's cross country team returns to action on Friday afternoon for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, which takes place on the Blue/White Golf Courses on the Penn State campus. The men's regional race is a 10,000 meter race which begins at 1:15 p.m. and will be followed at 2:30 by a recognition ceremony for the top runners and teams.
The cross country course at Penn State takes advantage of the challenging landscape of the Penn State Blue/White Golf Courses. The competitive start and finish lines can be found off of North Atherton Street (US Business Route 322) at White Course Drive. This is located on the Western edge of campus, behind Rec Hall.
Villanova last raced on October 26 at the BIG EAST Championships, where the team posted a fifth place finish. The season overall has been a strong one for the Wildcats, who won the team title at the Paul Short Run in September and followed that effort with an eighth place team finish at the Pre-NCAA Meet last month.
So far this season Villanova has been led by the consistency of sophomore Sam McEntee (Perth, Australia) and senior Mathew Mildenhall (Auckland, New Zealand) at the top of the lineup. McEntee has been the Wildcats top finisher three times this season, including at the BIG EAST meet with a 17th place overall individual finish. Mildenhall was the top Villanova runner at the Pre-NCAA Meet and has been second to McEntee in every other race this season.
To this point in the season the top seven runners in the Wildcats lineup has included freshman Jordy Williamsz (Melbourne, Australia), junior Greg Morrin (Hockessin, Del.), redshirt freshman Rob Denault (Aurora, Ont.), junior Alex Tully (Little Rock, Ark.) and senior Matt Kane (Fairfield, Conn.). Each of the five is capable of stepping up to join McEntee and Mildenhall near the top of the lineup.
Williamsz and Morrin put themselves on the right track by getting off to a strong start this season and Denault was third on the team at the BIG EAST Championships with a 21st place overall finish and Tully came in 31st at that meet to finish as the team's final counting runner.
Runners from 28 teams in the Mid-Atlantic Region will make up Friday afternoon's race. Villanova will begin in starting box 27 on the course.
There are nine different NCAA regional races taking place on Friday and the top two teams from each region will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships later this month. A total of 13 additional teams from around the nation will receive at-large bids to the national meet. The field for the NCAA Championships will be announced on Saturday afternoon.