Sept. 30, 2010
Official Paul Short Invitational Web site
In the Herd: Paul Short Invitational Preview
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell cross country will face some of its toughest competition of the season going up against some of the top ranked squads in the country at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa., on Friday. The meet, which features 126 teams at the college and high school levels, begins at 10 a.m. with the open races. Bucknell's varsity squads will race in the Gold Division with the men going at 11 a.m., followed by the women at 11:45 a.m.
Also scheduled to compete in the Gold Division with the Bison men are 25 teams ranked in the top 15 of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) regional polls. Five squads are also ranked nationally, including Iona (12th), Virginia (22nd), Princeton (23rd), Georgetown (24th) and William & Mary (28th). The Bison women will face even stiffer competition. Twenty-one teams ranked in the USTFCCCA's regional top-15 will make the trip to Bethlehem. Three of those are also ranked nationally, including top-ranked Villanova, Georgetown (sixth) and Virginia (16th).
- Stephanie Fulmer (Pottstown, Pa./St. Pius X) and Sarah Moniz (Topsfield, Mass./Masconomet Regional) continued their dominance at the Duquesne Tri-Meet on Sept. 18. The duo finished 1-2 for the second consecutive meet with Fulmer leading the way at 18:00 for a 5K, and Moniz following in 18:08.
- Alysha Hooper (Meaford, Ontario/St. Mary's) has been doing her best to keep up with Fulmer and Moniz. The junior took third overall at the Bucknell Open and fourth at Duquesne, making her the third member of a strong Bison trio.
- Bucknell's upperclassmen have literally stepped into a leading position. All five scorers at Duquesne were juniors or seniors, including Fulmer, Moniz, Hooper, Kelly Grosskurth (Huntington Station, N.Y./Half Hallow Hills East) and Alaina Chodoff (Chery Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East). Senior Eileen Foley (Herndon, Va./Chantilly) and junior Melissa Smith (Mercer, Pa./Mercer Area) rounded out the top seven.
- Bucknell won the Duquesne Tri-Meet on the strength of those upperclassmen. The Bison finished with just 18 points, leading Duquesne's 40 points and Pittsburgh's 84.
- After winning her second consecutive meet at Duquesne, Fulmer was named the Susquehanna Valley Limousine Bison Athlete of the Week. The honor was the fourth of the junior's career.
- Bucknell held on to seventh place in the USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region poll after being idle last weekend. The Bison improved one position from the Sept. 13 poll after defeating Duquesne. Seventh place is the team's highest ranking this year.
- Bucknell also stayed the top-ranked Patriot League team in the regional poll. The Bison are trailed by No. 9 Navy, No. 12 Lehigh and No. 13 Lafayette.
- Eight of the Mid-Atlantic's top 15 teams will be making an appearance with Bucknell in the Gold Division at the Paul Short Invitational on Friday. Included in that group are Villanova (first), Georgetown (second), Maryland (sixth), La Salle (eighth), Penn (10th), Lehigh (12th) and Duquesne (14th).
- All five of Bucknell's scorers from the 2009 Paul Short Invitational return in the new season. Leading the group a year ago were Moniz, Hooper and Fulmer. Alexa Griffiths (Tamaqua, Pa./Tamaqua) and Kara Weichler (Pittsburgh, Pa./Plum) also scored as the team took 13th. It was the fourth top-15 finish in five years for the Bison.
- Through Bucknell's first two meets, freshman Chris Sacks (Pound Ridge, N.Y./Fox Lane) and senior Evan Novakowski (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) have done their best to solidify their spot on the varsity seven. The duo has placed among the Bison's top three in each of the team's meets so far. They are also the only Bison to score at both the Bucknell Open and Duquesne Tri-Meet.
- Sacks placed ninth overall at Duquesne with an eight-kilometer finish of 25 minutes, 57 seconds. The performance earned him the title of Patriot League Rookie of the Week on Sept. 20. Sacks has now won the award twice this season.
- Keith Sansone (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) was Bucknell's top finisher at Duquesne for the first time in his career. The junior was eighth overall with a time of 25:53. As a team, Bucknell was second, trailing the Dukes but defeating Pittsburgh at the Schenley Park Oval.
- In the latest USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region poll, Bucknell was ranked 14th. The Bison were joined by Patriot League foes Navy (fourth) and American (10th) in the poll.
- Navy will be one of 10 ranked teams from the Mid-Atlantic Region to compete at this year's Paul Short Invitational. Four of the top five (Princeton, Georgetown, Navy, La Salle) are included in that group.
- At last year's Paul Short Invitational, the Bison placed 19th overall as a team. Bucknell's top three scorers in Andrew Huebner, Conor McNamara and Kevin McGoldrick have all graduated, however. Dave Brown (Westborough, Mass./Westborough) and Ian Shore (South Orange, N.J./Seton Hall Prep School) rounded out last year's scorers and will be back for another turn in 2010.
- Bucknell's return to the top 20 at last year's meet gave the team its best finish since 2007 when they placed 15th. The 2006 meet proved to the Bison's best finish in recent years, however, as Bucknell was ninth as a squad.
With just four short weeks until the Patriot League Championships, Bucknell will continue its push through October at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. The meet, which is hosted by Indiana State and will include a field of more than 80 teams, is set for Oct. 16. Races begin at 11 a.m.