2012 Seahawk Men's and Women's Cross Country Preview and Schedule Announcement
St. Mary's City, Md. – The St. Mary's College of Maryland men's and women's cross country teams enter their respective campaigns with high expectations after a solid 2011 season under new coach Lynn O'Dell, including the program's first All-Capital Athletic Conference selections.
"The expectations for this season will be to place four or more runners on the men's and women's team in the All-CAC ranks. This could allow us to shoot for a third- or fourth-place finish during the CAC championships, which is totally achievable. We lost two seniors last year but have added to our teams," O'Dell stated. "There is a tremendous amount of talent that must be reined in. The men's and women's teams must work hard and stay focused during the 2012 season."
2011 was a lean year for the Seahawks as the squad was hindered by injuries throughout the season. Team captain Dan Swain (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall College) was the team's top finisher in three races, including an eighth-place finish at the Coach Achtzehn Classic hosted by York College of Pennsylvania. In his first season as a Seahawk, David Kersey (Davidsonville, Md./South River) was the No. 1 runner for St. Mary's at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University and the DeSales University Invitational. St. Mary's picked up a fifth-place finish at the CAC Championships as team captain Nick Pasko (Bel Air, Md./Calvert Hall College) led the way.
The 2012 edition of the men's cross country team will feature 13 letterwinners and three newcomers – Max Beker (Towson HS), Aidan Hennessey (Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS), and Greg Mainolfi (Towson HS). Pasko and Swain will once again be the team leaders while Kersey and Matt Bennett (Laurel, Md./Reservoir) will provide additional leadership following solid campaigns last season. The three rookies will push the veterans as they hope to be one of the team's top seven runners.
Michelle DiMenna (Towson, Md./Notre Dame Prep) and team captain Katie Phipps (Severna Park, Md./Chesapeake) became the program's first-ever All-CAC selections, overcoming snowy conditions at York, Pennsylvania to finish 14th and 15th, respectively, at the 2011 CAC Women's Cross Country Championships. As a team, St. Mary's placed fifth at last year's conference championships. DiMenna, Phipps, and Keighly Bradbrook (Princeton Junction, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro South) paced the team all-season long as each runner was the Seahawks' No. 1 finisher in at least one race.
This year's team is comprised of 13 letterwinners and six rookies. With the leadership of Phipps and Margaret Lillie (Carrboro, N.C./Chapel Hill) as well as the strong running of Bradbrook and DiMenna, the Seahawks will look to break into the Top 4 at the conference championship meet.
The schedule features six regular-season competitions and the 2012 Capital Athletic Conference championships hosted by Frostburg State University on October 27.
The season opens at the Sea Gull Opener hosted by CAC opponent, Salisbury University, on September 1 at Winter Place Park. The following weekend, the Seahawks make their first-ever appearance at the W&L Invitational hosted by Washington & Lee University. St. Mary's will then get a preview of the CAC championship course when they travel to the Frostburg State University Invitational on September 22 at the Maplehurst Country Club.
To preview the NCAA Mideast Regionals, the Seahawks will head to Newville, Pa. on September 29 for the Long/Short Invitational hosted by Dickinson University at Big Spring High School. The invitational features two races for each gender, as there is a 4K and 8K race for the men and a 4k and 6k course for the women. St. Mary's kicks off October at the Goucher College Cross Country Classic on October 6 before competing at Elizabethtown College's Battle for the Buggy at Shank Park in Hershey, Pa. on October 20 to wrap up the regular season.
The NCAA Regionals will be held on November 10 followed by the NCAA Division III Championships on November 17 at the LaVern Gibson Course in Terre Haute, Indiana.
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