Aug. 31, 2017
WASHINGTON - Georgetown University's men's cross country came in at No. 16 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason poll, while the women's team is tabbed No. 26. The Hoyas open the 2017 season at the Spiked Shoe Invitational on Friday, Sept. 8, hosted by Penn State University in State College, Pa.
The Georgetown men's team finished 21st at the NCAA Cross Country Championships a year ago following team titles at the BIG EAST Championships and the Mid-Atlantic Region Championships. The team, tabbed No. 16 nationally and atop the preseason rankings in the Mid-Atlantic region, boasts a wealth of talent and experience.
"I'm excited about this group this season," Head Men's Cross Country Coach Brandon Bonsey said. "We have three experienced leaders and then a huge group of underclassmen who are hungry to help the team in any way that they can. Many of the underclassmen put in a lot of work this summer and showed up to campus in a great place. I think this is the deepest team that we've had at Georgetown in a long time. We have 12-14 guys who have the potential to contribute this fall. Now it is my job to put them in the right training and racing situations."
The team returns All-American Jonathan Green (Berlin, Mass./Saint John's School) who turned in a fifth-place finish in 2015 at NCAAs. Also playing major factors will be Spencer Brown (Wilton, Conn./Wilton), Matthew Bouthillette (North Providence, R.I./La Salle Academy) and Jack Van Scoter (Pasadena, Calif./Flintridge Prep), who all competed on the 2016 NCAA squad. Amos Bartelsmeyer (St. Louis, Mo./Saint Louis Country Day) will play a major role as one of the more seasoned athletes on the team with stints in national competition across all three seasons in his previous years on the Hilltop.
"Being nationally and regionally recognized is always flattering but we know we have not accomplished anything yet," Bonsey continued. "We have a lot of work to do and I'm excited to get a better idea of where we are on September 8 at Penn State."
The men's team will look to defend its 2015 and 2016 BIG EAST team titles, aiming for three in a row Ã¢â'¬" a feat accomplished only by Providence College twice (1979-81; 1990-92). The Hoyas will also look to a strong team foundation to defend the region title, a crown the Hoyas have won four of the last six years.
The women's team comes into the season tabbed No. 26 nationally and third in the Mid-Atlantic region. The team showcases depth with the five point scorers easily changing from meet to meet.
GU looks to the experience of its fourth- and fifth-year competitors in Kennedy Weisner (St. Marys, Pa./Elk County Catholic), Autumn Eastman (Hinesburg, Vt./Champlain Valley Union), Piper Donaghu (Portland, Ore./Grant), Josette Norris (Tenafly, N.J./Tenafly/North Carolina), Madeline Perez (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) and Meredith Rizzo (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville/Yale).
"This team has matured over the last few years and is ready to make a run at NCAAs," Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Julie Culley said of the women's team. "We have great momentum along with outstanding leadership and a wealth of experience - I cannot wait to see what this team can do this year."
Paige Hofstad (New Braunfels, Texas/New Braunfels), GU's cross country MVP from the 2016 campaign, returns to the mix as the team's top performer from the 2016 NCAA regionals. Hofstad finished 15th while Norris (24th) and Eastman (26th) rounded out the top 30 finishers.
GU is competing in one of the strongest regions in the country with Penn State and Villanova ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the preseason Mid-Atlantic poll. The Nittany Lions come in at No. 11 nationally while the Wildcats are tabbed No. 20. The trio of national powerhouses will be in the hunt for the two automatic bids to the NCAA Championships in November.
Both teams will open the season on Friday, Sept. 8 at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Club Invitational, hosted by Penn State in State College, Pa.