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XC heads to NCAA Regionals
The men will partake in the NCAA Regional tournament held at Van Cortlandt Park, N.Y. on Saturday. The men have won three straight NEC titles now, this year led by freshman Richard Klauber. Klauber finished first individually in the NEC championships along with teammates John Greenlaw, Dan Roark, and Tyler Dinnan finishing 9th, 11th, and 12th, respectively.
“Expect another big performance from Rich [Klauber],” Coach Ed O’Connor said. “Our goal is to be in the top 15.”
The fastest 15 out of the 47 competing teams from each regional meet earn a ranking. Last year, Quinnipiac finished 25th out of 34 teams. This year, the men will have a much better chance to break the top 15, because last year they ran without their top runner the previous two seasons, Jacob Gurzier.
This year they will bring a very young, but exciting team to Van Cortlandt. Klauber and Roark are both freshman, and Greenlaw is a sophomore.
Van Cortlandt Park is a very well-known course in the northeast.
“You can instantly have a sense of how competitive a runner is by their Van Cortlandt Park time,” Coach O’Connor said. “You can place yourself among other historic Quinnipiac runners.”
Klauber has a good amount of experience running at Van Cortlandt Park, running in two different events in high school there.
“As far as a 10-K, I’ve never run it,” Klauber said.
On Sept. 6, Quinnipiac finished 2nd at the Fordham Invitational – also held at Van Cortlandt Park. However, that race was only a 5,000-meter race, and as Klauber said, the NCAA Regional is 10,000 meters.
The women are looking to improve on last year’s 14th place finish at the NCAA Regional. With four straight NEC titles on their backs, they have earned a solid reputation going into the regional.
Senior Chelsea Bollerman is coming off a first place finish at the NEC Championships. Bollerman finished 75th last year at the NCAA Regional, fourth on the team.
“The Northeast region is a lot deeper than the NEC,” Head Coach Shawn Green said. “Our goal is [to finish] top 12.”
At the NEC Championships, freshman Morgan Roche finished fourth. She is expected to be a key contributor with Bollerman at the regional. Freshman teammate Katie Beam has worked well with Roche during races. If Roche starts out by setting a pace, then Beam can just focus on keeping up.
It is also a mutual relationship, because they take turns setting the pace. Beam finished right behind Roche in the NEC Championships just six seconds behind, good for fifth place.
“We’ve got a really young team,” Coach Green said. “It’s good experience for them to run against good competition.”
The women’s team has experience at Van Cortlandt Park, finishing second at the Fordham Invitational on Sept. 6. Bollerman led the Bobcats finishing third, while Roche finished 12th. However, the distance is doubled at the NCAA Regional, previously 4,000 meters – now it is 8,000 meters.