Cross Country Travels to Louisville for NCAA Regional Meet
Nov. 11, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest men's and women's cross country teams will compete in what could prove to be their final meet of the regular season Saturday morning at the NCAA Southeast Regional in Louisville, Ky.
The meet will take place on Louisville's E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park, with the men's race set to begin at 10 a.m., followed by the women's race at 11:15 a.m.
The NCAA Cross Country regional meets are comprised of nine different regions across the country, and the top two teams from each region will advance automatically to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. The remainder of the 31-team field (13 at-large schools) will be announced this Sunday, no later than 7 pm.
Individuals that place highly enough in the regional meets can also advance to the NCAA Championships even if their team is not one of the 31 teams already qualified for the event.
Racing in the Southeast Regional, the Deacs will go up against 49 other opponents, including six ACC foes in Clemson, Duke, N.C. State, North Carolina, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.
The Deacon men and women are coming off seventh-place and tenth-place finishes, respectively, at the ACC Championships that took place in Clemson, S.C., on Oct. 29. Sophomore standout Nicole Irving paced the women's squad, garnering All-ACC honors with a ninth-place overall finish in a personal-best 6k time of 20:38.1.
Melanie Powers was the next Demon Deacon across the finish line at the ACC Championships in 22:06.8, and freshman Kaitlyn Oliver placed third among Wake Forest runners for her highest team-finish of the year in a personal-best 6k time of 22:56.7.
Also expected to compete for the Deacs on Saturday is freshman Aubrey Waggoner, junior Allison Homer, and redshirt-junior Casey Fowler.
Homer has finished in either second or third place on the team in three meets this season, while Waggoner recorded a team-finish as high as third place back on Sept. 16 at the Clemson Invitational 6k. Fowler's top performance of the season came at the ACC Championships where she crossed the finish line in exactly 23 minutes in order to place fourth among Demon Deacon runners.
Leading the men's squad on the season is junior Garret Drogosch, as he has placed first on the team in the past four meets after missing the season-opening race in Boone, N.C. The Westlake Village, Calif. native set a new personal-best 8k mark last time out at the ACC Championships, clocking an impressive time of 23:59.9, good for 18th place overall at the meet.
Drogosch's time at the ACC Championships was nearly 35 seconds faster than his previous personal-best mark of 24:34.56, also set at Clemson earlier in the season on Sept. 16.
Joining Drogosch in the front pack for Wake Forest is a pair of dynamic runners in Paul Loeser and Alexander Rose. A local product out of Mount Tabor High School, Loeser has shined in his senior season, recording team finishes of first, second, and third place throughout the year.
Loeser's season-best time of 24:40.7 came at the ACC Championships, en route to a third-place team finish and a 49th-place finish overall. Loeser also finished second overall and first among Wake Forest runners in the season-opening meet, the Covered Bridge Open.
Just a sophomore, Rose has steadily improved throughout the course of his first season of collegiate cross country running, and the Deacs will certainly be counting on him for a strong performance on Saturday morning. The Aussie has recorded top-three team finishes in four of five races this season, including a second-place finish on the team and 43rd place overall at the ACC Championships with a career-best time of 24:33.2.
Senior Tom Morrison will be racing in his final NCAA Regional meet on Saturday, as he looks to build upon a fifth-place team finish and 61st overall at the ACC Championships in a solid time of 25:03.3.
Additionally, juniors Tom Finneran, Anthony Marois, Nate Guthals, and Jake Graham are also expected to compete for the Deacs in the regional meet. Finneran, Marois, and Graham have raced in all five meets for Wake Forest this season, while Guthals has raced in the past four meets.
Stay tuned to WakeForestSports.com for a complete recap following Saturday's action at the NCAA Southeast Regional.
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