Cross Country Set to Race in ACC Championships Saturday
Oct. 28, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest men's and women's cross country teams will travel south to Clemson, S.C., to compete in the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships on Saturday morning. Hosted by Clemson, both races will take place at the Musser Farms Course, with the men's 8k race set to begin at 10 a.m. and the women's 6k race to follow at 11 a.m.
A talented and experienced pack of frontrunners looks to pace the men's squad for the Deacs on Saturday, led by junior Garret Drogosch. Drogosch has led Wake Forest all year, as he has finished first on the team in each of the three meets he competed in this season.
Drogosch's personal-best 8k time of 24:34.56 came at the Clemson course earlier in the season, as the Westlake Village, Calif., native finished 10th overall at the Clemson Invitational. He also turned in a season-best fourth place overall finish at the Blue Ridge Open on Oct. 14.
Along with Drogosch, seniors Paul Loeser and Tom Morrison will look to make significant contributions to the Deacs' scoring totals during the race. Loeser's top time of the season so far, 24:50.6, came at the Charlotte Invitational en route to a 14th place finish overall, while Morrison recorded his personal-best mark of 24:56.60 at the Clemson Invitational.
Sophomore Alexander Rose will compete in his first ACC Cross Country Championships as a Demon Deacon. The Brisbane, Australia, native has finished within the top five on the team in each of the four meets this season, including a second-place team finish in his most recent outing at the Blue Ridge Open.
A handful of juniors will round out the racing action for the Deacs this weekend, as Tom Finneran, Anthony Marois, Nate Guthals, and Jake Graham all look to score points for the Deacs. Finneran has shown consistency throughout the entire season, finishing fourth on the team in three races while also recording a season-best time of 25:03.49 at the Clemson Invitational.
The Demon Deacon men will go up against a number of nationally ranked opponents, including No. 18 Florida State, No. 19 N.C. State, and No. 30 North Carolina.
The Demon Deacon men's squad has won four ACC cross country team titles in program history, including back-to-back crowns in 1989 and 1990 and again in 1993 and 1994.
At last season's ACC Championships, Wake Forest claimed sixth place in the overall team standings, led by seniors Greg Billington (26th place) and Tom Divinnie (36th place).
On the women's side, Nicole Irving will look to highlight an outstanding regular season with a strong performance in the Championships. The sophomore from Ballston Lake, N.Y., has finished first for the Deacs in all four meets this season, including two individual titles at the Covered Bridge Open and the Blue Ridge Open.
Irving broke the 17-minute mark in a 5k race for the first time of her career, finishing in a dominating time of 16:54.9 at the Charlotte Invitational on Sept. 30. Additionally, Irving has been named the ACC Performer of the Week twice this season for her outstanding racing performances.
Along with Irving, fellow sophomore Melanie Powers has raced extremely well for the Deacs this season, finishing second on the team in each of the past three races. Powers turned in a personal-best time of 17:52.9 earlier in the season at the Charlotte Invitational 5k.
Junior Allison Homer has also raced strong in the front pack for Wake Forest this season, finishing no lower than third place on the team in three meets.
Joining Homer will be redshirt-junior Casey Fowler, as she competes in her third ACC Cross Country Championship. Fowler brings experience and leadership to the team, and the young Demon Deacon squad will certainly look to the Richmond, Va., native to provide those attributes against a strong field on Saturday.
The Deacs will face five schools ranked in the top 30 of the USTFCCCA poll, led by top-ranked Florida State. The Seminoles are followed by No. 17 Virginia, No. 21 N.C. State, No. 22 North Carolina, and No. 24 Boston College.
At the 2010 Championships, Wake Forest finished seventh overall, led by All-ACC performer Anna Nosenko in third place and Irving in 27th place. Irving placed fourth overall among freshmen in the league.
Following the ACC Championships Saturday, the Deacs will next compete in the NCAA Southeast Regional in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 12.