Nov. 21, 2011
TERRE HAUTE, Ind.--Villanova makes its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Cross Country Championships today when the men's race goes off at 12:08 p.m. at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course.
Villanova finished in second place at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships for the second straight year. This is the fourth consecutive season overall that the Wildcats have received a team bid to the national meet.
For the second straight year the top five Villanova runners at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional all garnered All-Mid Atlantic Region accolades for finishing in the top 25 individually. Senior Ryan Sheridan (Melville, N.Y.) led the way with a runner-up finish and classmate Matthew Gibney (Albury, Australia) placed fifth overall. Freshman Samuel McEntee (Perth, Australia) came in 16th place and was followed by juniors Mathew Mildenhall (Auckland, New Zealand) and Matt Kane (Fairfield, Conn.) in 19th and 21st, respectively.
Entering the national championships meet on Monday afternoon Villanova is ranked No. 16 in the nation in the latest USTFCCCA Top 30 poll. This season the Wildcats have been nationally-ranked in every poll released since the preseason and have surged as high as No. 13 in the national rankings. Villanova won its first BIG EAST title since 2002 earlier in the season and posted strong results at the Paul Short Run and the Wisconsin adidas Invitational.
Last season the Wildcats finished 23rd as a team at the NCAA Championships and
Mathew Mildenhall (Auckland, New Zealand) came in 46th place as Villanova's
top individual finisher. Mildenhall earned All-America honors in 2009 at the national championships meet.