Williams Men Win, Middlebury Women Tie for NCAA Cross Country Regional Title
Courtesy Southern Maine Sports Information
CUMBERLAND, Maine - For the second consecutive year, senior Edgar Kosgey (Eldoret River Valley, Kenya) of the Williams men's cross country team crossed the finish line first at the NCAA New England Regional Championship, leading the Ephs to their second straight automatic berth into the NCAA National Championship race. On the women's side, Middlebury and MIT tied for the team title.
Repeating his 2008 performance, Kosgey covered the 8000-meter race in a time of 25 minutes, 16.2 seconds to place first overall out of 323 finishers at the 2009 NCAA Men's Cross Country New England Regional Championship hosted by the University of Southern Maine at the Twin Brook Recreational Center in Cumberland, Maine. With Kosgey leading the charge, Williams totaled 53 points earning the team championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA National Championship race on Saturday, November 21 hosted by Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio.
The Amherst College Lord Jeffs finished second to the Ephs with a team score of 104 points, earning the New England Regions' second qualifier. Lord Jeff senior Daniel Murner (Crestwood, Ky./Mt. Mansfield Union) finished less than a second behind Kosgey in an exciting sprint to the finish. Murner completed the race in a time of 25 minutes, 16.7 seconds to pace one of two Amherst finishers in the top five of the race as junior Will Yochum (Goleta, Calif.) placed fifth in a time of 25 minutes, 29.0 seconds.
Williams College and Amherst College automatically qualify to represent the New England Region at the 2009 NCAA Division Men's Cross Country Championship on Saturday, November 21. Twenty-four teams total will be selected to participate in the national championship race with 16 teams qualifying automatically. The remaining eight teams will be selected at-large. The NCAA will announce individuals and at-large teams on Tuesday.
Middlebury was led by Addie Tousley (Kensington, Md.) who came home in fourth place in 21:54.6. Claire McIlvennie (Ithaca, N.Y.) and Sarah Lange (Brattleboro, Vt.) placed 10th and 12th with times of 22:05.6 and 22:09.8 respectively. Sophia Spring (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) was 15th and Elise Moody-Roberts (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) completed the Panthers top five in 22nd place.
Middlebury and MIT each finished with 63 points and earned the region's two automatic qualifying spots for next weekend's NCAA National Championships to be hosted by Baldwin-Wallace College and the Cleveland Sports Commission.
Williams College finished third with 99 points, followed by Amherst College with 116 and Wesleyan University with 159. These teams will wait to hear Sunday if they have received an at-large berth into the national championship meet. The top five individual finishers included Wentz, Ravenna Neville (Westfield, N.J.) of Wesleyan University (21:39.8), Monks, Tousley and Kerry Arouca (Hanson, Mass.) of Westfield State College (21:58.3).
New England Regional Team Scores
GENESEO, N.Y. - Senior Peter Kosgei of Hamilton dominated the competition to win the individual title in a course-record time of 24:40, but Cortland St. raced to the team title with 49 points as the Red Dragons placed their five scoring runners in the top 17. Seniors Eric Stermer, Kyle O'Brien and Justin Wager ran in a pack and finished sixth (25:24), seventh (25:24) and eighth (25:25) to pace Cortland. Senior Jerry Greenlawn was 11th in 25:32 and freshman Sean Curry placed 17th in 25:40 to complete the scoring runners. Hamilton finished the race in 12th place with 333 points. On the women's side, the Continentals came in 13th with a score of 332. Junior Abby King was the top finisher for Hamilton, placing in 32nd with a time of 23:16.