MASON, Ohio -- When two-time national champions Johns Hopkins -- a team that won its regional by 71 points -- is in the field, there is no doubt they should be the odds on favorite to win again.
The Blue Jays look to become the first team to win three consecutive titles since Cortland State won four in a row from 1992-95.Johns Hopkins, which has won seven consecutive Mideast Regional Championships, posted three runners in the top five and all five runners in the top 13. All seven runners, despite two not scoring for the team, earned all-region honors. It marked the second consecutive season all seven Johns Hopkins runners earned all-region honors.
Junior Sophia Meehan is the third Johns Hopkins runner since 2010 to win a regional title, finishing the 6K course in a course record 21:18. She dominated the meet, crossing the line 36 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher -- freshman teammate Bridget Gottlieb. Frances Loeb, Tess Meehan and Caroline Powers all scored for Johns Hopkins in the Blue Jays regional championship.
Second-ranked MIT has been in the top six all season long before elevating to second in the final poll. MIT was ranked fourth in four on the nine polls. Middleburg and SUNY Geneseo have spent most of the time in the top five this season.
St. Lawrence has made the biggest rise in the polls this season, starting the season 20th in the preseason poll. However, they quickly rose to third after the first poll and moved to second one month later. They will enter the national championships at third.
Eleven teams competing in the race Saturday have seen what it is like at the top. St. Thomas (Minn.) was crowned as champions in 1982, when they totaled four national championships in five years; ‘82, ‘84, ‘86, ‘87.
SUNY Cortland is returning to the stage for the first time since 2010. The team has celebrated seven victories total in the school history with back-to-back championships in 1989 and ’90, and a three-peat from ’92-’95 and once more in ’97.
Christopher Newport will be appearing in a national championship for the first time in school history.