“Put this season in the record books,” head coach Deb Cane said after her teams turned in impressive finishes at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Competition in Canaan Valley, W.Va., Saturday.
The men tallied 494 points in their 10K race, finishing in 17th place for their highest finish since 1997. The women’s team advanced five places from last year’s 21st-place finish, coming in 16th.
“At the NCAA’s, we ran against some of the best teams in the country, and I am very pleased that we were able to place so high in such a strong field,” Cane said. “This was a great capstone to one of the best seasons we have ever had at GW.”
Two weeks ago, junior Darrell Andruski recorded the fastest time at the Atlantic 10 championships in GW history (25:35). Cane said these recent strong finishes show the teams are heading in the right direction.
“We have seen incredible improvement this season, as both teams are moving up in the conference and the region,” Cane said. “The performance at NCAA’s and Darrell’s achievement at A-10’s have put this season in the record books.”
Andruski led the Colonial men again Saturday, finishing in 68th place out of 177 runners (32:30) behind first-place finisher Mike Smith of Georgetown. Close behind Andruski, junior Dave Azari finished in 70th (32:32), while senior David Talbird (102nd), senior Matt Kascak (128th) and freshman Phil Sherman (141st) rounded out the top five for GW.
Villanova University won the 26-team men’s race with 40 points, just ahead of second-place finisher Georgetown (45). Princeton University’s 108 was good for third place.
For the women, Cane said freshman Lindsay Blum “ran an incredible race,” finishing the 6K course in 22:57. She placed 58th in the 188-person race behind overall winner Megan Metcalf of West Virginia.
The GW women stuck with their season-long strategy of pack running, or narrowing the gap between finishers to avoid extra points. A strong cluster of Colonials followed Blum, including sophomores Mary Beth McCullough (98th) and Erin Patton (101st), junior Emily Jadwin (114th) and sophomore Trina Bolton (129th).
McCullough said even though the muddy course made pack running difficult, the team pulled it off successfully to help improve its finish.
The women finished with 477 points behind first-place Georgetown. Villanova finished in second, well ahead of third-place Penn State.