Oct. 25, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell cross country has finally reached the meet it has been working toward all year with the Patriot League Championship set for Saturday at Hamilton, N.Y. The Bison women's squad will be eyeing its ninth conference title, the last of which came on the same as Colgate course they'll see this weekend, while the men look to move back into the top half of the standings for the first time in three years. The championship meet gets underway at 11 a.m. with the men's race, followed by the women at noon.
- Bucknell has eight Patriot League titles, more than any other team. The Bison's last championship trophy came in 2009 when the meet was hosted by Colgate. Bucknell finished with 65 points, followed most closely by Army (81), Navy (87) and Colgate (114). Leading the way individually was Stephanie Fulmer in sixth place and Sarah Moniz in eighth. Alexa Griffiths also earned All-Patriot League accolades with a 13th-place finish. The only Bison currently on the roster to compete in 2009 was Leah Goeke (Garnet Valley, Pa./Garnet Valley), who was 11th on the team and 78th overall. Kevin Donner collected his fourth Patriot League Coach of the Year award after the team win.
- Before 2009, Bucknell won Patriot League titles in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The Bison's eight titles is a league high with Army in second with five trophies (1994-97, 2004).
- A different team has won the team trophy in each of the last four years, making Bucknell is the last team to win back-to-back championships. Navy was the 2008 and 2011 champion, Colgate won in 2010 and Bucknell took the title in 2009.
- At last year's Patriot League Championship, Bucknell finished second in the team standings by a mere three points, 53-56, to Navy. Colgate was a more distant third with 98 points. The top Bison finisher was Caroline Tolli (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport), who was fifth overall and the first non-senior finisher from any team. Seven of the top 10 runners at last year's league meet were seniors.
- Tolli earned her first All-League citation with her fifth-place finish, while Fulmer was seventh to claim her fourth-consecutive First Team honor. Recent graduate Emily Liggett finished 11th, also garnering Second Team accolades. The Bison graduated three of their top seven runners. Those from that group who are still on the 2012 roster include Betsy Edinger (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich Central) (15th), Katie Jessee (Concord, Mass./Concord Carlisle) (21st) and Hana Casalnova (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) (23rd).
- Bucknell has had at least one runner named to an All-Patriot League team every year since 1996. Six Bison were recognized in 2002 and 2006, more than in any other season.
- Bucknell's last individual Patriot League champion was Leanna Nastase in 2006.
- The Bison have already competed in Hamilton, N.Y., once this fall. The team opened its season at the Harry Lang Invitational where the women were second behind Syracuse and Tolli led the way with an eight-place finish, followed closely by Jessee in ninth. Trailing Bucknell in the team standings were third-place Navy with seven more points. Colgate, Holy Cross and American were fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
- Tolli has been Bucknell's top finisher in three of four races and has one individual victory coming at the Running Fit-Detroit Titan Invitational this fall. The lone exception to her being the team leader was the Saint Francis (Pa.) Father Bede Invitational on Sept. 29 when she placed second overall to teammate Deanna Godby (Cleveland, Ohio/Mayfield). Godby has Bucknell's only other gold medal.
- Those individual wins by Tolli and Godby helped spark the Bison to team wins as well. In addition to their first-place finishes at Detroit and Saint Francis, Bucknell was second at the Harry Lang Invite, third at the Gettysburg Invite and 11th in the unseeded race at Pre-Nationals.
- Tolli has not been the only consistent contributor for Bucknell. Jessee has been among the team's top three finishers in all four of her races during her sophomore campaign. The only time she dropped out of the No. 2 slot was at Saint Francis when she placed third overall behind Godby and Tolli.
- In the Oct. 15 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Regional Poll, Bucknell was picked 10th. Navy was sixth, making them the only Patriot League women's teams to be included in the regional rankings.
- Bucknell placed third at the 2009 Patriot League Championship, the last time it was hosted by Colgate. The Bison's team finish was its highest since they also placed third in 2006. Since then, they were sixth in 2010 and fifth in 2011.
- At the 2009 league meet in Hamilton, N.Y., Bucknell was third with 78 points behind Navy (34) and American (57). Andrew Huebner
and Kevin McGoldrick
both earned First Team All-Patriot League honors by placing fifth and seventh, respectively. Each of the team's top five finishers were seniors that year. The only Bison in that race that remains on Bucknell's 2012 roster is Robert Yamnicky
(Shelton, Conn./Shelton), who was ninth on the squad and 43rd overall as a freshman.
- Navy has won each of the last three Patriot League Championships. Bucknell has five titles in program history - 1990, 1991, 1992, 1998, 1999. Bucknell's last individual champion came in 2002, compliments of Bryan Johnston
- The Bison have place two in All-League citation territory in four of the last six years. Huebner and McGoldrick were Bucknell's most recent first-team honorees.
- When Bucknell competed at the 2011 Patriot League meet, it was fifth with 108 points. Navy won with 38, followed by American (49), Lehigh (78) and Army (94). The Bison had an overwhelmingly young squad at that meet with four of the top seven being freshman. Behind recent graduate Dave Brown
, who was 11th overall, was John Dugan
(Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey) in 13th. Both earned second-team accolades, while Dugan also claimed the title of Rookie of the Meet. Also back from that race are Dustin Horning
(Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown Area) and Andrew Garcia-Garrison
(Detroit, Mich./Catholic Central) in 27th and 28th, respectively. D.J. Krystek
(Pitcairn, Pa./Gateway Senior) was 32nd, Andrew Kirna
(Westfield, N.J./Westfield) was 41st and Michael McGowan
(Ardmore, Pa./Lower Merion) was 42nd.
- When Bucknell competed at the Harry Lang Invitational in Hamilton, N.Y., earlier this season, the Bison were fifth in the team standings. They trailed Syracuse, Navy, American and Buffalo. On the individual front, Dugan led the Orange and Blue with a 15th-place finish, while Krystek was 18th.
- Dugan went on to win the Running Fit-Detroit Titan Invitational the following week. The sophomore is one of three Bison to claim a gold medal this fall, being joined by Glen Williams
(Landenberg, Pa./Kennett) at the Bison Open and Krystek at the Father Bede Invitational. Those individual efforts ultimately led to team titles at Detroit and Saint Francis.
- Bucknell was selected 10th in the latest USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Regional Poll released on Oct. 15. Lehigh was sixth, Navy ninth and American 11th in the region. Also earning a top-15 spot in the Northeast was Army.
Bucknell has one more guaranteed meet on its 2012 schedule. The Bison will compete at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, hosted by Penn State, on Nov. 9.