Cross Country Readies For NCAA Northeast Regionals

Senior captain Chelsea Prahl

Senior captain Chelsea Prahl

Nov. 10, 2011

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army cross country will continue the 2011 season on Saturday, as the Black Knights head to Amherst, N.Y., for the NCAA Northeast Regional. Hosted by the University at Buffalo, the men’s 10,000-meter race is slated for a noon start and will be followed by the women’s 6K meet at 1:15 p.m., both set at Audubon Golf Course.

Teams will be competing for a slot at the NCAA Championships, scheduled for Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. The top two teams of each regional meet will automatically qualify for the national race, while 13 additional teams will receive at-large invitations into the 31-team field. The Black Knight men most recently competed at the NCAAs in 1996 when they finished 15th, while the women have yet to compete at the Division I championships.

Army is coming off a pair of fourth-place finishes at the Patriot League Championships on Oct. 29. The Black Knights took home a trio of All-Patriot League honors as senior captain Chelsea Prahl was named to the first team for the second time in her career with a sixth-place finish, while juniors Marcie Nordt and Daniel Jester claimed second-team recognition for placing 13th and 14th, respectively. Nordt’s certificate marked the second straight year she was named to the second team.

“Our performance at the conference meet, I don’t think was an indication of where we’ve been as a team all season,” said Army head coach Troy Engle. “It was a disappointment to us. We anticipated being a little more competitive. We still did a good job but the weather was the great equalizer. If you could have predicted the top-10 athletes, the weather totally changed that. Some of the top guys didn’t have good days, and we’d like to think we were one of the good teams that just didn’t have a good day.

“Some of our kids may not have been as rested as they could have been. As the academic calendar ramps up, we backed way off throughout the course of the last week or so to take them into the regional meet a little bit better rested than we were going into the conference meet. That could give us a performance at the end that will help deaden the blow of the fourth-place finishes at the conference meet.”

Saturday’s field for the men features 39 teams, including four teams currently ranked in the national poll. Highlighting the entrants are No. 9 Iona, No. 22 Columbia, No. 29 Syracuse and No. 30 Providence. In the women’s 40-team field, national notables include No. 5 Providence, No. 9 Syracuse, No. 18 Boston College and No. 29 Cornell. A combined seven teams from last season’s Northeast Regional advanced to the 2010 NCAA Championships, including four top-10 finishers, led by the Iona women running to eighth place.

Information on Saturday’s meet, including course maps and directions to the event, can be found by clicking here.

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