Cross Country: Top-10 Ranking for Mountaineers


By Daniel Whitehead for WVUsports.com
November 15, 2011 03:31 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Achieving its first Top-10 ranking since the 2009 season, the West Virginia cross country team jumped four spots to No. 9 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA) national poll released Tuesday.

The rank is the highest the Mountaineers have achieved during the 2011 season, and best since finishing in sixth place at the 2009 NCAA Championship.

“This group has steadily climbed the rankings all year,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “To be back in the top 10 should be a nice confidence booster as we prepare for Monday. At this point of the season, it’s simply about staying healthy and keeping our focus.”

In the wake of a third-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional last Saturday, the Mountaineers fell only to No. 2 Villanova and No. 7 Georgetown, who tied for first place. WVU beat No. 22 Penn State, Princeton and other traditionally strong teams.

Redshirt senior Kate Harrison led the way with a fifth-place finish in 21:38, and was pursued closely by teammates Kaitlyn Gillespie (7th) and Sarah-Anne Brault (11th). Ahna Lewis (19th) and Kaylyn Christopher (25th) also earned all-region honors with their placements.

Florida State and Villanova retained the top two spots, while Washington and Georgetown follow. The BIG EAST and Pac-12 each have six squads in the nation's top 30, while the Big Ten (5), ACC (4), Big 12 (3), and SEC (3) follow.

The Mountaineers next compete on Monday, Nov. 21, at the NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind. The 6k race will take place at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course located at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.

The men’s race will begin at approximately 12:08 p.m. ET, followed by the women’s race at approximately 12:58 p.m. A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast from noon to 1:30 p.m. ET on NCAA.com. In addition, highlights from the championships will be included as part of the CBS NCAA Fall Seasonal Show scheduled to air on Saturday, December 18, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET on CBS HD.

The team seeks its fourth Top 10 national finish in five years.


USTFCCCA National Top 30
1 … Florida State … ACC
2 … Villanova … BIG EAST
3 … Washington … Pac-12
4 … Georgetown … BIG EAST
5 … Vanderbilt … SEC
6 … Colorado … Pac-12
7 … Iowa State … Big 12
8 … Arizona … Pac-12
9 … West Virginia … BIG EAST
10 … Michigan … Big Ten
11 … New Mexico … Mountain West
12 … Syracuse … BIG EAST
13 … Stanford … Pac-12
14 … Arkansas … SEC
15 … Michigan State … Big Ten
16 … Oregon … Pac-12
17 … Texas … Big 12
18 … Boston College … ACC
19 … Virginia … ACC
20 … NC State … ACC
21 … Penn State … Big Ten
22 … Oklahoma State … Big 12
23 … California … Pac-12
24 … Toledo … Mid-American
25 … Wisconsin … Big Ten
26 … San Francisco … West Coast
27 … Providence … BIG EAST
28 … Minnesota … Big Ten
29 … Notre Dame … BIG EAST
30 … Florida … SEC

Tags
WVU Cross Country, Sean Cleary


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