Aug. 29, 2012
WASHINGTON - The defending national champion Georgetown University women's cross country team is ranked No. 3 in the country, while the Hoya men's team is ranked No. 14 in preseason rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The men's team is ranked No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic Region and is the only BIG EAST squad to top its region, while the women's team is ranked No. 1 in the Mid-Atlantic Region, one of only two league schools to lead their region.
"It's great that the past level of our program has been acknowledged in the preseason poll," Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Pat Henner said. "Our men and women realize understand that we can't rely on our past and that this year's team is brand new and we are going to have to go out and prove ourselves each week."
On the men's side, Georgetown received 191 points to earn a No. 14 preseason national ranking. The Hoyas were the second-highest among a group of four BIG EAST schools ranked among the top-25.
The Hoyas finished 17th in last year's NCAA Championship, won the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional and were second in the BIG EAST Championship. Leading the returnees for the Blue & Gray will be Marc Denin (Gilbertsville, Pa./Boyerstown) and Andrew Springer (Westerly, R.I./Westerly). Denin finished in seventh place at last year's BIG EAST Championship and placed sixth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, while Springer finished in 17th place in the BIG EAST and seventh at the NCAA Regional.
Also back for Georgetown is graduate student Ayalew Taye (Portland, Maine/Cushing Academy), who finished in sixth place at the 2008 BIG EAST Championship and won the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Region title.
The Georgetown women's team won the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championship, the first in program history. The Hoyas received two first place votes and had 337 points to earn the No. 3 spot in the preseason poll, behind Oregon and Washington.
The Hoyas will have to offset the losses of All-American Emily Infeld and Clare Richardson (C'12), but return a strong group of experienced runners.
Leading the way will be Emily Jones (Harvard, Mass./Bromfield), Kristen Kasper (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) and sophomore Katrina Coogan (Exeter, N.H./Phillips Exeter Academy). Jones finished in 13th place at last year's BIG EAST Championship and was the team's No. 3 runner at the NCAA Championship, finishing in 54th place.. Kasper enjoyed a strong junior season, finishing in 15th at the BIG EAST, 16th at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic and was the No. 4 runner at the NCAA meet, finishing in 64th overall. Coogan had a tremendous freshman season, highlighted by a postseason that saw her finish 20th at the BIG EAST, 15th at the NCAA Regional and as the team's No. 5 runner when the Hoyas won the NCAAs.
Henner also expects to receive major contributions from Madeline Chambers (Rock River, Ohio/Magnificat) and Rachel Schneider (Dover, N.H./St. Thomas Aquinas).