Aug. 12, 1997

1997 Women's Cross Country Outlook

Providence College women's cross country is one of the top programs in the nation. In addition to winning the 1995 NCAA title, the Friars have finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Cross Country Championship each of the last eight years. Although Ray Treacy has one of the youngest team's in his 14 years as a head coach, he is entering the 1997 season with the same expectations as the past eight seasons. Treacy believes the Friars are capable of winning the BIG EAST Cross Country title and finishing in the top 10 at the NCAA Championship.

Treacy's high expectations are not limited to cross country, he also believes his Friars will finish strong at the NCAA Indoor Track Championship. The primary reason for Treacy's optimism toward the track season lies in the return of nine time All-American Marie McMahon (Ennistymon, Ireland). McMahon, who returns for her fifth year at Providence, has a season of eligibility remaining in indoor and outdoor track. Her leadership and experience also will be helpful for the Friar freshmen. McMahon, a member of the 1996 Irish Olympic team, is one of the top runners in the country. Last year, she captured individual cross country titles at the BIG EAST and New England championships. McMahon also earned a second-place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championship. She received her ninth All-America honor after finishing sixth in the 5,000 meters at the 1997 NCAA Outdoor Track Championship. However, it was not McMahon's first taste of success at the NCAA Championships. In 1996, she won the NCAA Indoor 5,000 meter title and established a school record in a time of 15:42.71. This year, she should be one of the early favorites to capture the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 5,000 meter titles.

Senior Maria McCambridge (Dublin, Ireland) returns for her senior season as the Friars' top cross country runner and a potential NCAA 3,000 meter competitor. A 1995 and 1996 Cross Country All-American, McCambridge has the ability to finish in the top three at the NCAA Cross Country Championship. McCambridge needs to have a strong season for the team to be successful. Last year, she ran her best race at the prestigious Roy Griak Cross Country Invitational (Minneapolis, Minn.) and established a course record (16:35) while edging out teammate Marie McMahon for first-place honors. She earned her fourth All-America accolade after finishing 14th (18:06) at the NCAA Cross Country Championship. After missing most of the indoor and outdoor track seasons last year with injuries, McCambridge is looking to return to her 1996 form. As a sophomore, she captured the 3,000 meter titles at the Penn Relays and the ECAC Championship. McCambridge concluded her sophomore season by earning All-America honors with a fifth-place finish in the 3,000 meters at the NCAA Championship.

Junior Sarah Dupre (Kingston, Ontario) will join McCambridge as one of the top runners on the cross country team. Dupre had a strong season last year in cross country and track. She scored in all seven cross country races she ran in 1996, including the NCAA Championship. At the NCAA Championship, Dupre was PC's third finisher (25th overall) in a time of 18:23. She was equally as impressive on the track, capturing the ECAC Indoor 5,000 meter title (16:52.36) and finishing 12th in the 3,000 (9:48.32) at the NCAA Indoor Championship. This year, Dupre will concentrate on the 5,000 meters, an event she ran at the 1996 NCAA Outdoor Championship.

Adding to the team's depth are junior Gladys Ganiel (Harrington, Maine) and sophomore Dana Ostrander (Ballston Lake, N.Y.). Ganiel posted her second solid collegiate cross country season last year. In 1995, Ganiel helped the Friars capture the NCAA Cross Country title. Despite suffering an injury during the 1997 indoor track season, she competed during the outdoor season and finished eighth in the 10,000 at the BIG EAST Championship. In 1996-97, Ostrander recorded one of the top freshman seasons of any PC runner in the past 10 years. She has the potential to earn All-American status in cross country and will be expected to impact the team. In 1996, she registered her top cross country race at the Roy Griak Invitational, finishing 17th in a time of 17:29. Ostrander gained significant experience running at the NCAA Cross Country and Indoor Track championships. An excellent 3,000 and 5,000 competitor, she ran a personal best time of 9:40.74 in the indoor 3,000 meters at the Terrier Classic. Ostrander earned All-ECAC honors in the 5,000 meters after finishing third (16:45.36) at the ECAC Outdoor Championship.

Head Coach Ray Treacy has brought four newcomers to the team this season who could all impact the squad. Freshmen Rachel Hixson (Media, Pa.), Stephanie O'Reilly (Wicklow, Ireland), Katy Radkewich (Hudson, Ohio) and Cory Roos (Manlius, N.Y.) all come to Providence with strong credentials. Hixson, who finished third in the Footlocker Cross Country Northeast Regionals, will challenge for one of the top eight spots on the squad. In addition to her cross country success, she won the 1997 Pennsylvania Outdoor 3,200 meter title. O'Reilly, who should respond well to collegiate competition, experienced tremendous success in Ireland. Although she only has been competing for two years, O'Reilly has captured a number of Irish titles. In 1996, she won the Irish Under-18 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meter titles. Radkewich enters Providence as one of top recruits in the country after a stellar high school career. A four-time cross country All-America selection, Radkewich finished second at the 1996 Footlocker Cross Country National Finals. She also will help the team on the track, competing in the 3,000 meters and the mile. In 1996, she earned All-America honors in the 3,000. Roos could be a major contributor in cross country this season. Last year, she finished third in the New York State High School Cross Country Championship. Roos also will help the team in the 1,500 and 3,000 meters.

The 1997-98 Providence College women's cross country and track teams promise to be exciting. The cross country squad will be aiming to capture its third consecutive BIG EAST title and finish in the top 10 at the NCAA Cross Country Championship. On the track, Head Coach Ray Treacy believes he has a powerful distance team led by returning star Marie McMahon. The Friars, who could have one of their best track squads in recent years, will be very competitive at the NCAA Track Championships.

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