Oct. 27, 2011
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
The nationally-ranked Providence College men's and women's cross country teams take the season's first shots at history Saturday, as the Friars converge on Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky for the 2011 BIG EAST Championships.
"You have two teams that are in contention to win titles, but certainly, on the women's side we're in the toughest conference in the country," explained PC's Director of Cross Country and Track Operations, Ray Treacy. "You have to be on your game. Otherwise, you could finish fourth or fifth easily, too."
The seventh-ranked Friar women will combat a 6-kilometer course and six other ranked foes. The field includes #4 Villanova, the defending Big EAST/National Champion, and #6 Georgetown. And, according to Treacy, #18 West Virginia could also play a role at the top of the results.
It was the Friars, however, who have been ranked the highest of all BIG EAST teams this season, reaching second in the nation after winning the crowded Paul Short Invitational on September 30. On that day, in Bethlehem, Pa., Providence earned four of the top-12 spots. A similar performance from All-Americans Shelby Greany (Suffern, N.Y,), Emily Sisson (Chesterfield, Mo.), and Hannah Davidson (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), along with sophomore Laura Nagel (Napier, New Zealand) will likely be needed if the program is to claim its 6th conference crown.
"We've got to get our top four women in the top ten, which will be hard to do because everyone in the top ten will be an (eventual) All-American," said Treacy, now in his 28th season guiding the Friars. "If we have four in the top twelve at least, and get our fifth runner Charlotte (Ffrench' O'Carroll, Dublin, Ireland) home in the early twenties, we're in the game."
The men's team, searching for a remarkable 16th title, will be without defending BIG EAST individual champion Lee Carey
(Bedworth, England) who is redshirting this season. However, the 14th-ranked Friars still boast a veteran laden group, led by All-American David McCarthy
(Waterford, Ireland), classmates Dominic Channon
(Nelson, New Zealand) and Julian Matthews
(Nelson, New Zealand), as well as impressive freshman Shane Quinn
(Waterford, Ireland). The squad most recently grabbed ninth in the ultra-competitive Wisconsin adidas Invitational on October 14. That day, the Friars were the best BIG EAST team out of the six taking part.
"We just have to run as well as we did at Wisconsin, I think," said Treacy. "We would feel more confident going into the meet if we had Lee, but that is not the case. We were without Lee at Wisconsin and we still ran pretty well. So it's just a matter of continuation of that kind of performance and we'll be in the hunt."
The gun goes off for the men's 8-kilometer race at 11:00 am. The women's 8K will begin at 11:50.
- Go Friars -