Nov. 8, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa.--Following a two-week layoff the women'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 women's regional race is a 6,000 meter race which begins at Noon 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 fourth place finish. Junior Emily Lipari (Greenvale, N.Y.) was the individual conference champion and made this the fourth consecutive year and 15th time overall that a Wildcats runner has won the BIG EAST individual title. Lipari and fellow junior Nicky Akande (Lawrenceville, N.J.) gave Villanova a great combination at the top of the individual results, as Akande registered a third place finish.
Last season Lipari and Akande each earned All-Mid Atlantic Region honors by finishing in the top 25 individually at the regional meet. It was the second straight all-region nod for Lipari, who also registered a 13th place finish as a freshman two years ago.
Lipari, Akande and senior Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.) all received All-BIG EAST recognition for their efforts at the conference meet. Cook crossed the finish line in 14th place and has been a consistent performer near the top of the Wildcats lineup this season.
The sophomore trio of Megan Venables (Laurel Springs, N.J.), Stephanie Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) and Courtney Chapman (Fayetteville, N.Y.) has been a mainstay in the Villanova lineup for the past two seasons and all three runners will look to continue their consistency in Friday's race.
Runners from 33 teams in the Mid-Atlantic Region will make up Friday afternoon's race. Villanova will begin in starting box 31 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.