Bucknell Cross Country Set to Wrap Up Season at IC4A/ECAC Championships
Nov. 17, 2011
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell cross country will make one last stand this season when it competes at the IC4A/ECAC Championships at Van Cortlandt Park, in Bronx, N.Y., on Saturday. Those Bison who did not compete at last week’s NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships will have a shot at making their mark before the season’s end. First up is the ECAC Coaches’ Race at 9:30 a.m. The men’s University Division race gets underway at 11:45 a.m., while the women’s University Division will compete at 12:30 p.m.
Bucknell will be looking for a repeat of last weekend’s regional championships as the men’s squad exceeded expectations in Princess Anne, Md. The Bison, which were ranked 12th in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Region Poll, ultimately placed 10th at the meet. It was their first top-10 finish at the regional competition since placing eighth in 2003.
With a 54th-place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals, D.J. Krystek (Pitcairn, Pa./Gateway Senior) was Bucknell’s top placer for the first time since leading the squad at the Paul Short Memorial Invitational on Sept. 30. John Dugan (Ramsey, N.J./Ramsey) also concluded his season by placing among the team’s top five for his sixth consecutive meet.
“We have traditionally run our reserves at the IC4A/ECAC Championships in the University Division races. I believe the extra three weeks of training and competing in a championship-caliber meet is a great developmental opportunity for many of our runners who were not in our top seven for the NCAA regional,” said head coach Kevin Donner. “I expect a number of these men and women will be running at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships in 2012 or 2013.
“Our women’s team is very deep and I expect them to contend for a trophy,” Donner continued. “We have had a few injuries on the men's side, so we are not quite as deep. However, I am very excited to see what these guys can do as they lead the team on Saturday.”
Krystek was Bucknell’s lead runner at last year’s IC4A Championships. Then a sophomore, he placed 32nd overall finishing the five-mile course in 26:36. This fall’s Bison corps at the championship meet will look drastically different as Krystek and Eric Balaban (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) were the only non-seniors to race at the 2010 meet.
The Bucknell women’s contingent will also have a new look to it this year. Emily Liggett (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Lawrenceville School (N.J.)) led Bucknell a year ago, placing 31st overall with a five-kilometer time of 19:10. Melissa Smith (Mercer, Pa./Mercer Area) and recent graduate Eileen Foley were the Bison’s second and third finishers, respectively.
Liggett was second on the team at last week’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, and Smith was seventh. Leading them all was Stephanie Fulmer (Pottstown, Pa./St. Pius X) in 50th place. Freshman Betsy Edinger (Greenwich, N.Y./Greenwich Central) also made her mark, placing 78th overall and earning fourth on the team for the second consecutive meet.
Among those teams joining Bucknell this weekend are Patriot League foes American on the women’s side and Colgate and Holy Cross on the men’s. Bucknell placed 14th in the team standings last fall. The women were eighth.
Saturday’s meet is the last of the fall campaign for Bucknell. Indoor track and field season will kick off on Dec. 3 with the Bison Opener at Gerhard Fieldhouse.