Nov. 11, 2011
AMHERST, N.Y. -
When the Providence College cross country teams take the line Saturday at the Northeast Regionals, they'll be looking to continue a tremendous trend of consistently qualifying for the NCAA Championships. With strong performances, the women's team will have qualified for a record, 23 consecutive NCAA Championships, and both programs will have advanced to their sports' biggest stage in 15 of the last 16 seasons.
"I think it shows the consistency of the program over the last 23 years," explained Director of Cross Country and Track Operations Ray Treacy. "And to finish in the top ten 17 out of the 23 years we've been there shows that we're not just getting there, but we're competing at a high level there. We have been very good in many of those years, but the bare minimum is to get into nationals and that's what's in the psyche of the team at all times."
The Northeast Regionals, hosted by the University of Buffalo, will be run Saturday at the Audobon Golf Course in Amherst, N.Y. The men's 10-kilometer race is scheduled for a noon start. The gun goes off on the women's 6K at 1:15.
The NCAA Championships, meanwhile, will be run on Monday, November 23 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Both the Friar men and women can land an automatic berth by placing in the top two Saturday. Treacy surmises third or fourth place finishes could earn at-large bids, thanks to the previous success the teams enjoyed this fall.
The Friar women, currently ranked fifth in the nation, most recently placed second to defending national champions Villanova at the BIG EAST Championships. PC has been ranked as high as second in the nation and also won the prestigious Paul Short Invitational. It will continue to be considered one of the elite teams this postseason.
On the men's side, the 30th ranked black-and-white will look to build upon a fifth-place finish at the BIG EAST's, as well as a ninth-place effort at the ultra-competitive Wisconsin adidas Invitational last month. Those efforts greatly bolstered the squad's NCAA resume.
"Wisconsin turned out to be a great, great meet for us, in terms of how we performed there and how many good teams we beat at the meet," Treacy said. "It takes a lot of pressure off us this weekend. Still, we want to see a better performance than we had at the Big East meet and I firmly believe we will get that."
- Go Friars -