Men's Cross Country Season Review
Nov. 22, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The NCAA Southeast Regional marked the conclusion of the 2011 season for the Wake Forest men's cross country team. Here's a look at how the Deacs performed this season.
The team earned top-five finishes in three of their first four meets, including a second place team finish among 23 teams at the Blue Ridge Open on Oct. 14. Prior to that meet, the Deacs finished fourth among 12 teams at the Clemson Invitational on Sept. 16 and third out of 34 teams at the Charlotte Invitational on Sept. 30.
The Deacs finished seventh at the ACC Championships, and followed that with a 13th-place performance at the NCAA Southeast Regional.
Junior Garret Drogosch led Wake Forest throughout the entire season, finishing first on the team in each of the five races he competed in on the year. The Westlake Village, Calif., native recorded top-ten overall finishes in three of five meets, including a fourth-place finish at the Blue Ridge Open.
Drogosch's season-best 8k time of the year couldn't have come during a better race, as he finished in 23:59.9 at the ACC Championships to place 18th overall in the conference. The time marked a 90-second improvement over his mark from the 2010 ACC Championships. Drogosch also finished first for the Deacs and 37th overall at the NCAA Regionals in a 10k time of 31:10.4.
"Although the season did not end the way we had planned, we were all happy with the improvements we made as a team this past season," said Drogosch. "We still have a lot of work to do, but we are building the foundation of a very competitive team, and we are all excited for next season."
Along with Drogosch, senior Paul Loeser jumped out to a strong start this season, finishing first on the team and second overall at the Covered Bridge Open on Sept. 2 with a time of 25:40.2 (8k). Loeser would finish second on the team at the Charlotte Invitational and third among Deacon runners at both the ACC Championships and the NCAA Regional.
A local product out of Mount Tabor High School, Loeser turned in his season-best 8k time of 24:40.7 at the ACC Championships to place 49th overall, and he finished in a 10k time of 32:22.4 at the Regional meet.
Alexander Rose quickly established himself as one of the top runners on the Deacon squad in his debut cross country season. The Aussie finished fifth on the team in his first race of the season, but then finished in either second or third place in the next four meets. His top 8k time of the season came at the ACC Championships with a mark of 24:33.2, good for 43rd overall.
Junior Tom Finneran proved to be one of the most consistent runners of the season, racing in all six meets and finishing fourth on the team in four of them.
Finneran's best team finish of the season came at the Covered Bridge Open where he placed second behind Loeser. The Scituate, Mass., native turned in a season-best 8k time of 24:48.0 at the ACC Championships to finish 56th overall. He finished in a 10k time of 32:29.0 at the Regional meet, good for sixth place on the Wake Forest squad.
Junior Jake Graham also raced in all six meets for the Deacs this season, with his season-best time of 23:13.5 coming at the ACC Championships en route to a 69th-place finish. Graham finished third among Wake Forest runners at the Covered Bridge Open, and he placed seventh on the team at the Regional meet in 32:45.3.
Senior Tom Morrison raced in five of six meets for the Deacs on the year, turning in a career-best time of 24:56.6 at the Clemson Invitational to finish second on the team and 24th overall. Morrison finished fifth on the squad at the ACC Championships in 25:03.3 and followed that performance with a fourth-place team finish and 91st overall at the Regional meet.
"The season showed a great progression for all of us, and we progressed and found out how to run and rally as a team," said Morrison. "Our progression shows great advancement as a program and as individuals. We adapted to competition well and put forth the best effort we could have in every situation we faced."
Guthals turned in his strongest race of the year in the last meet of the season, finishing second on the team and 81st at the NCAA Regionals in 32:11.8 (10k).
Dearmon achieved a personal-best time of 26:10.9 (8k) at the Blue Ridge Open, while O'Toole's top time of the season, 25:24.9 (8k), came at the ACC Championships en route to a ninth-place team finish. Crowley finished eighth among Demon Deacon runners at the ACC Championships in a season-best time of 25:23.7.