NCAA Regional Championship Awaits Women's Cross Country on Saturday
Jess Palacio captured the 2011 Patriot League individual title
Nov. 10, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy women's cross country team will head to Princess Anne, Md., on Saturday to compete in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship at 1:15 p.m. The top-two finishing teams at the 32-team event will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
About the NCAA Regional Championship
The top two teams at Saturday's Regional Championship will each earn one of 18 automatic bids to the NCAA Championship held on Nov. 22. 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 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.
The Mids enter the weekend ranked seventh in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic region poll. Navy had a preseason ranking of No. 9; since then, the Mids moved up and have been ranked No. 6 or 7 in the region.
Villanova, Georgetown, West Virginia, Penn State, Princeton and LaSalle are ranked No. 1-6 in the region, respectively. Villanova (No. 2), Georgetown (No. 7), West Virginia (No. 13) and Penn State (No. 22) are all nationally ranked. Of the nation's nine regions, the Mid-Atlantic region is tied with the second-most amount of teams in the current national top-30 poll.
Navy competed against teams currently ranked in the top 15 in the Mid-Atlantic region in four of its five invitational meets this season. Below is a recap of how the Mids fared in each meet against the region's current top-15 teams. The number in parentheses indicates the team's current regional ranking.
UMES Lid-Lifter Invitational, Sept. 3 - 1. Navy (7), 2. West Virginia (3)
Salty Dog Invitational, Sept. 17 - 1. Navy (7), 2. LaSalle (6), 3. Loyola (14), 6. Maryland (9)
Paul Short Invitational, Sept. 30 - 2. Villanova (1), 4. Georgetown (2), 15. Navy (7), 18. LaSalle (6), 20. Maryland (9), 24. Lehigh (13), 28. Bucknell (8), 26. St. Joe's (11), 30. Penn (10), 31. Towson (15), 36. Duquesne (12)
Patriot League Championship, Oct. 29 - 1. Navy (7), 2. Bucknell (8), 5. Lehigh (13)
Quoting the Coach
Coach Karen Boyle's take on this weekend's NCAA Regional Championship...
"I'm anxious to see what we can do against some of the best teams in the country this weekend, including nationally-ranked schools Villanova, Georgetown, West Virginia, and Penn State. With only the top-two teams in the region automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championship, it will be a difficult challenge. All the stars have to align for us and I'm hoping that happens this weekend."
Navy Wins its Third Patriot League Title in the Last Five Years
Led by Jess Palacio's individual title, Navy held off Bucknell, 53-56, to win the Patriot League championship on Oct. 29 in Bethlehem, Pa.
Palacio became Navy's first individual champion since Amy Watson in 2008 as she finished the 6k course nearly 10 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
Brigid Byrne placed ninth and freshman Annie-Norah Beveridge followed in 10th place as both Second Team All-Patriot League honors. In addition, Beveridge was named Rookie of the Meet as she was the top-finishing freshman.
Palacio Continues Stellar Senior Season
Senior captain Jess Palacio has asserted herself as one of the top runners in the Mid-Atlantic region again this season. In winning the Patriot League individual title, Palacio claimed the third First-Team All-Patriot League honor of her career. She is the first three-time, First-Team All-Patriot League honoree in Navy history. The Sun Valley, Nev., native has been Navy's top finisher in all five meets in which she has competed this season. She has claimed four individual titles this season and now has a total of nine in her career.
Byrne and Taylor Earn Academic All-Patriot League Honors
Brigid Byrne and Katie Taylor were both voted to the Academic All-Patriot League team, it was announced by the conference on Tuesday. The seven-member team is voted on by the league's sports information contacts.
Byrne, who currently boasts a 3.87 GPA, is now a two-time Academic All-Patriot League honoree. The English major has been one of the team's top-three runners in every meet this season.
Taylor has four top-10 finishes this season. She is an engineering major with a 3.59 GPA.
Navy at Last Year's NCAA Regional
Navy placed 10th at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship last season. Jess Palacio led Navy as she placed 21st, to earn All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors.