Women's Cross Country Set for Patriot League Championship Action
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy women's cross country team will be competing this Saturday at the 2017 Patriot League Championship. Racing versus a 10-team field of league opponents at Lehigh's Goodman Campus Cross Country Course, the Mids are in search of their fifth league title in program history and first since 2012. The women's race kicks off at 12 p.m. following the completion of the men's race at 11 a.m.
Navy returns four of its top-five scorers from the 2016 meet, in which the Mids finished in fourth place. Using a pack strategy, Navy's top-seven runners finished within 20.8 seconds of each other starting with Erin McDonnell in 20th place at 22:31.1 and concluding with Brenna McDannold ('17) in 33rd at 22:51.9. Grace West (23rd, 22:36.9), Caitlin Schmitt (24th, 22:38.3), Allison Parks (26th, 22:41.5) and Ali Valenti (30th, 22:45.6) all return for this Saturday's meet.
Champions in 2012, 2011, 2008 and 2007, Navy is almost always amongst the contenders with only one non top-four finish since 2003. Over the past five Patriot League meets, the Mids have placed first in 2012, third in 2013, tie for third in 2014, second in 2015 and fourth in 2016.
The team's most recent action this season was on Oct. 14 versus Army in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. In a dramatic race that came down to tenths of a second, the host Black Knights edged the Mids, 27-28. Ali Valenti (3rd, 19:41.1), Grace West (4th, 20:01.9) and Emily Craig (5th, 20:02.1) finished consecutively for Navy in the head-to-head race.
Five of the 10 teams at Saturday's championship meet are ranked in the top-15 regional polls of the USTFCCCA ...
Mid-Atlantic Poll: (#8) Bucknell, (9) Navy, (11) Lehigh and (14) American
Northeast Poll: (14) Army
Following this weekend's championship race, Navy will have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, hosted at Lehigh University once again on Nov. 10.