East Regional: Recap
East Regional: RecapNovember 3, 2007
BLOOMSBURG- In what has become a season of firsts for the Bloomsburg University women's cross country team, the squad may have out-done themselves.
The team captured the NCAA Division East Regional Championship today at Lock Haven University, the first in the history of the program, posting a 62-point total. Runner-up Edinboro finished well behind Bloomsburg with 81 points.
"This has been an amazing year," head coach Karen Brandt said. "This team worked really hard all summer and into the fall. They planned to do something like this since last May and they just accomplished it."
"We've had our shares of ups and downs through the season between injuries and some personal tragedies," Brandt continued. "But, they did not let that shatter them. It pulled them together even more."
Bloomsburg was paced on the day by three runners who finished in the top ten, each earning All-Regional honors. The top finisher for the Huskies was senior Amber Hackenberg (Middleberg/Middleberg), who ran Lock Haven's 6k course in 21:51 to earn a sixth place finish. Right behind Hackenberg in seventh spot was sophomore teammate Andrea Kellock (Lansdale/North Penn) who ran the course in 21:56. Rounding out the top ten finishers was junior Beth Schwing (Hershey Lower Dauphin) who finished ninth at 22:05.
Other top finishers for the Huskies included sophomore Angela Borelo (Easton/Easton) who placed 16th with a time of 22:21 and junior Ashley Shuck (Milton/Milton) who placed 24th in a time of 22:39.
The women's team now advances to the NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships, which will be held on the Missouri Southern State University Cross Country Course in Joplin, Missouri. The championships will take place on November 17th.
"Our season is not over yet," said Brandt. "The girls have accomplished both goals they set out at the beginning of the year in winning the PSAC's and regionals. They have one more goal to accomplish and we'll see if we can do that in two weeks."
On the men's side, the team finished eighth overall. The top finisher on the day for Bloomsburg was junior Mike Dalton (Lake Hopatcong, NJ/Pope John XXIII) who placed 32nd in 32:46, while sophomore Misha Litvinov (Drums/Hazleton Area) finished 36th in a time of 32:52 on Lock Haven's 11k course.
Other top finishers included junior Jimmy Stockley (Elverson/Twin Valley) who finished 56th in 33:34 and senior Dan Tallarico (Pittsburgh/North Hills) who placed 59th in a time of 33:39.
EDINBORO, PA Edinboro University cross country coach Doug Watts has been in the business a long time, and has produced plenty of outstanding teams during his tenure. His goal has always been the same, to peak during the championship season -- the PSAC Championships, the East Regional, and the NCAA National Championships.
Watts wasnt quite sure about his 2007 teams. With the top two teams qualifying for Nationals, he knew his mens team was in pretty good shape following a first place finish at last weeks PSAC Championships.
It was another story for the womens team, which slogged its way to a third place finish a week ago and needed a strong showing to qualify for Nationals. Thats just what happened, as the womens team finished second, while the men made it two regional titles in the last three years with a first place finish.
On the mens side, the Fighting Scots totaled 47 points to take home first place, with Slippery Rock next with 58 points. Lock Haven was a distant third with 95 points. Jeff Weiss of The Rock won the individual honors, finishing with a time of 30:32.
Dave Niemira was Edinboro top finisher. The senior came in fifth (31:20) after placing second at the PSAC Championships. He finished with a time of 31:20, the same time posted by teammate Josh Arthur, who was sixth. The two were joined as All-Region runners by freshmen Barry McLaughlin (31:38) and Ben Hahn (31:46), who finished ninth and tenth, respectively. Eric Brenner captured 17th place (32:04), with Dan Field placing 20th (32:11) and Nick Hankins 29th (32:40).
For the women, Rachael Lanzel finished as the individual champion one week after settling for second place in the PSAC Championships. The seniors time of 20:57 easily outdistanced Kutztowns Stephanie Williams, who was second at 21:28.
That was enough to bolster the Fighting Scots, who finished with 81 points to edge Kutztown (87 points) for second place. Bloomsburg won the East Region championship with 62 points. Edinboros only other All-Region performer was freshman Amber Sanders, who placed 14th with a time of 22:17. Becca Nungesser was 20th (22:32), with Ashley Ferraro 21st (22:33), Kristine Beringer 25th (22:39), Kelly Bergeron 41st (23:07), and Erica Bourgeois 67th (23:41).
Both Edinboro teams will now head to the NCAA Division II Championship, which is set for Saturday, November 17 at Springfield, MO.