Men's Cross Country Ready for NCAA Regional Championship
Nov. 10, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy men's cross country team will travel to Princess Anne, Md., for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship on Saturday at 12 p.m. Navy claimed its fourth consecutive Patriot League title its last time out and will need to finish in the top two of this Saturday's 30-team event to punch a ticket to the NCAA Championship.
About the NCAA Regional Championship
The top two teams at Saturday's 10k-regional championship will each earn one of 18 automatic bids to the NCAA Championship held on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. In addition, 13 teams will receive at-large bids to the NCAA Championship, which will be announced on Sunday.
The top-four runners not associated with the top-two finishing teams this Saturday will earn an automatic individual invite to the NCAA Championship. In addition, two at-large runners will be selected from the remainder of the national pool to compete at the national championship.
Navy's last NCAA Championship appearance as a team came in 1997.
Navy began the season ranked fifth in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic region poll and enters this weekend in the same spot. Princeton, Villanova, Georgetown and Penn State are ranked No. 1-4, respectively, in the Mid-Atlantic region. Princeton (No. 9), Villanova (No. 13) and Georgetown (No. 23) are also nationally ranked.
Navy competed against teams currently ranked in the top 15 in the Mid-Atlantic region in five of its six invitational meets this season. Below is a recap of how the Midshipmen fared in each meet against the region's current top-15 teams. The number in parentheses indicates the team's current regional ranking.
Fordham Fiasco, Sept. 10 - 1. Princeton (1), 2. Navy (5), 4. Penn (4)
Navy Invitational, Sept. 17 - 2. Navy (5), 3. LaSalle (6), 9. Maryland (11)
Griak Invitational, Sept. 24 - 5. Penn State (4), 12. Navy (5)
Paul Short Invitational, Sept. 30 - 2. Georgetown (3), 4. Villanova (2), 11. Navy (5), 14. LaSalle (6), 20. Lehigh (10), 26. St. Joseph's (9)
Patriot League Championship, Oct. 29 - 1. Navy (5), 3. Lehigh (10), 5. Bucknell (12)
Quoting the Coach
Coach Al Cantello's take on this weekend's NCAA Regional Championship...
"We're a long shot and, perhaps, spoilers."
Navy Captures its Fourth Consecutive Patriot League Title
Navy became the third team in conference history to win at least four consecutive league championships when it captured its fourth title on Oct. 29 in Bethlehem, Pa.
Senior captain James Pearson (third) and Ken Bunnell (fifth) both received First-Team All-Patriot League honors by placing in the top seven, while Cody Rome (eighth), Kyle Satterwhite (10th) and Robert Patterson (12th) all garnered Second-Team All-Patriot League accolades. It marked the second straight year Navy's scoring five earned all-conference honors.
With the title, Al Cantello was named Patriot League Coach of the Year for the fourth consecutive season.
Rome and Pearson Named to Patriot League All-Academic Team
Seniors James Pearson and Cody Rome were both voted to the Patriot League All-Academic Team, the conference office announced on Tuesday. Pearson, an English major, currently has a 3.55 GPA and earned First Team All-Patriot League honors after placing third in the conference championship.
Rome earned Second Team All-Patriot League accolades after finishing eighth at the conference championship. He currently carries a 3.55 GPA and is an applied mathematics major.
To be eligible for the honor, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen or students in their first academic year at their school are not eligible.
Navy at Last Year's Regional Championship
As a team, the Mids placed fifth at last year's NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, while Andrew Hanko took sixth overall to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Navy has finished fifth or better on three occasions since 1999.