Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mid-Atlantic Regional Preview: Women's Race

This from the Penn State athletics website:

The women's race will feature arguably the deepest regional field in the country, with the Villanova Wildcats - the defending NCAA Champions - at the front of the pack. The region is also just as deep in experience, with the top three finishers from last year's Mid-Atlantic Regional returning, as well as five of the top six. Leading the Wildcat contingent is junior Sheila Reid, who is the defending Mid-Atlantic Regional Champion as well as an NCAA All-American. Reid excelled in her last appearance on the Blue and White Golf Courses, taking top honors at the Penn State National last month, leading a one-two sweep with teammate and fellow All-American Amanda Marino in second. The Wildcats are also coming off a victory at the Big East Championships, via an individual title from Reid and five Wildcats in the top 11 finishers.

Georgetown has been equally as impressive in 2010, winning the Pre-Nationals White Race in mid-October, on the heels of a fifth-place finish from Emily Jones. Jones - just a sophomore - and teammate junior Emily Infield have been an outstanding one-two punch for the Hoyas this fall, pacing Georgetown to a second-place finish at the Big East Championships. The Hoyas, who were won the team title at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational earlier this year, were fifth in a region a year ago, with Infield earning All-Region honors thanks to a third-place effort individually.

Penn State and Princeton will also both be in contention in the team race, with the Lions boasting a fourth-place effort at the Big Ten Championships, and the Tigers hoping to the ride momentum of their fifth-straight Ivy League victory. Princeton took second in the Mid-Atlantic last year, and would go on to a fifth-place effort at the NCAA Championships. Four of the seven members of the Tiger's fifth-place squad remain, including individual Ivy League Champion Alex Banfich. So far this season, Princeton has posted seventh-place standings at both the Notre Dame Invitational, and in the Pre-Nationals Blue Race. The Nittany Lions have mounted a solid fall campaign, remaining in the USTFCCCA Top 30 for most of the season. The Lions' 2010 resume includes a ninth-place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational, a 10th-place effort at the high-powered Notre Dame Invitational, and a third-place standing at home at the Penn State National - behind only Villanova and top-10 ranked Syracuse.

In line for the individual titles will likely be Reid, Marino, and Bogdana Mimic of Villanova, Infield and Jones of Georgetown, and Banfich of Princeton, along with George Washington's Megan Hogan. Hogan was the lone individual qualifier out of the Mid-Atlantic last year, and would go on to a 27th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

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