Atlantic 10 preview: Cross country looks to make championship strides

Media Credit: Josh Solomon | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Carter Day paces his strides at the DCXC Invitational earlier this season. The cross country program has had several firsts this season leading up to the A-10 championships on Saturday.

First home meet since 2005? Check.

First regional ranking since the end of the 2012 season? Check (for the women).

First back-to-back All-Conference honors since 2003? Check (for the men).

First place at the Atlantic 10 Championship? Not yet, but that’s the goal for the coming years.

The rebuilding process is in full swing for the women’s and men’s cross country teams. The teams are at a tipping point, where their growth will be challenged.

In a season of firsts, the men’s and women’s cross country teams will gun for their first-ever conference championship this Halloween in Richmond. The question for the program is: Will they come in ahead of schedule this year?

Women’s cross country outlook
There’s a chance the women could walk away from the race with a trophy.

As a regionally ranked team, the Colonials have shown an ability to finish in packs, including some high finishers, to keep a low team score. In other words, as one runner on the team improves, they all improve and finish together.

At the highly competitive Paul Short Invitational, they finished 13th overall out of 35 teams and well above the three other A-10 teams competing.

The main completion though should be the preseason-predicted top three ‒ Duquesne, La Salle and Richmond – that finished in the same order last year.

With personal records from their top runners, junior Macaulay Porter and sophomore Miranda DiBiasio, they have a good shot of finishing higher than some preseason expectations and much higher than last year’s 10th place finish.

Men’s cross country outlook
For the most part, the team has been a one-man show. Ryan Tucker has broken school records on his way to a standout senior season.

At the Paul Short Invitational Tucker broke the school’s 8K record, coming in at 24:26. It was a personal record of 15 seconds too, breaking his and the program’s preview record set in 2013. While doing so he became the first GW men’s cross country runner to earn All-Conference honors in back-to-back weeks in over a decade. The competition has been Meek Mill and Tucker has proved to be Drake – just wait to see what a historically hot runner in championship races does for his Hotline Bling moment.

You used to know junior Seamus Roddy as one of the young guys brought in with the new era of a track team looming. He’s quickly vaulted himself as the team’s second-best carrier. Look for him to leave a mark to set the standard for the team next year.

As for the conference as a whole, the men have a chance of finishing in the top half or borderline top third – their preseason goal, after finishing 11th last year and preseason-predicted to finish 11th again. They’ll have to compete with teams like Massachusetts, who finished four places ahead of them at the crowded Paul Short field and was preseason-predicted eighth and La Salle, who finished a couple spots lower than them at the meet and was preseason-predicted fifth place.

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