Williams Men, Middlebury Women Win NCAA Cross Country Regionals

Photo courtesy of www.CIPhotography.com
Photo courtesy of www.CIPhotography.com

BRUNSWICK, Maine -- No. 3 nationally-ranked Middlebury defeated No. 1 Williams for the women's team crown by just five points on Saturday at the NCAA Division III Cross Country New England Regional Championships, while in the men's race the No. 7 Ephs returned the favor, defeating No. 16 Middlebury by one point for the men's title at Bowdoin College.

The top two men's and women's teams both receive automatic team bids to next Saturday's NCAA Championships, to be held at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Up to three more teams are eligible for at-large bids. The top seven remaining individuals, discounting members of runners who will compete at NCAAs as a team, also win automatic invitations to NCAAs.

It is the fourth straight New England women's team title for the Panthers, who shared the top spot with MIT in 2009.

Williams sophomore Chiara Del Piccolo won the women's race, covering the 6-kilometer course in 20:52.43, over 14 seconds ahead of runner-up Randelle Boots of Wellesley. Piccolo finished 16th in last year's meet at Williams. But the Panthers had three runners among the top eight overall, in fourth-place Margo Cramer, fifth-place Addie Tousley and eighth-place Chelsea Ward-Wallers, and all seven of its runners among the first 28 to cross the finish line.

No. 5 MIT took third place with 134 points, followed by No. 14 Amherst in fourth (142), with No. 23 Tufts rounding out the top five NCAA-hopeful squads with 181 points. Boots led the Blue, ranked in a three-way tie for 10th place in the latest New England rankings, to a surprise sixth-place finish as a team.

Michael Schmidt of Middlebury won his second men's individual New England crown in a row, covering the 8-kilometer course at Bowdoin in 24:39.95. Schmidt won last year's New England championship, held in Williamstown, Mass., in 25:40.

Although its top runner, sophomore Chris Lee, finished seventh overall, Williams' depth carried the Ephs to nudge the Panthers for first place as a team, with its top five runners all among the top 26 overall. It is the third regional title in the past four years for the Ephs.

Led by individual runner-up Coby Horowitz, the host Polar Bears, ranked 14th in the country, edged rival and 10th-ranked Bates by a point, 160 to 161, for third place. Both squads will hope to receive at-large bids to NCAAs tomorrow, as will No. 24 Tufts, who finished fifth with 175. No. 17 MIT took sixth place with 195.

Women's Team Results (complete results)
1. Middlebury 55; 2. Williams 60; 3. MIT 134; 4. Amherst 142; 5. Tufts 181; 6. Wellesley 186; 7. Keene State 213; 8. Bowdoin 238; 9. Colby 242; 10. Brandeis 253; 11. Bates 302; 12. Wesleyan 328; 13. Coast Guard 449; 14. Westfield State 548; 15. Southern Maine 574; t-16. UMass-Dartmouth 587; t-16. Connecticut College 587; 18. U. of New England 629; 19. Springfield 646; 20. Worcester State 658; t-21. Salve Regina 669. t-21. Babson 669; 23. Lesley 683; 24. Smith 692; 25. Trinity (Conn.) 716; 26. Gordon 758; 27. Mount Holyoke 770; 28. WPI 772; 29. Bridgewater State 835; 30. Roger Williams 838; 31. Clark 850; 32. Wheaton 855; 33. Eastern Conn. State 908; 34. Husson 932; 35. Colby-Sawyer 980; 36. Johnson & Wales 1,028; 37. Lasell 1,172; 38. Endicott 1,175; 39. Salem State 1,203; 40. Emmanuel 1,214; 41. Maine-Farmington 1,218; 42. St. Joseph's (Me.) 1,231; 43. Western New England 1,241; 44. Lyndon State 1,245; 45. Fitchburg State 1,282; 46. Framingham State 1,293; 47. Norwich 1,394; 48. MCLA 1,430; 49. Castleton State 1,437; 50. Johnson State 1,642; 51. Bay Path 1,657

Women's individual runners who earned automatic qualification for NCAAs: Randelle Boots, Wellesley; Keri Lambert, Amherst; Brooke Johnson, MIT; Elaine McVay, MIT; Madelena Rizzo, Bowdoin; Molly Carl, Southern Maine; Paige Mills, Keene State.

Men's Team Results (complete results)
1. Williams 88; 2. Middlebury 89; 3. Bowdoin 160; 4. Bates 161; 5. Tufts 175; 6. MIT 195; 7. Brandeis 202; 8. Amherst 205; 9. Springfield 211; 10. Wesleyan 236; 11. Keene State 303; 12. Southern Maine 326; 13. Connecticut College 354; 14. Colby 442; 15. Coast Guard 446; 16. Bridgewater State 551; 17. Roger Williams 581; 18. Westfield State 583; 19. Johnson & Wales 585; 20. Babson 648; 21. WPI 656; 22. Lyndon State 672; 23. New England College 701; 24. U. of New England 769; 25. Fitchburg State 835; 26. Western New England 878; 27. Rhode Island College 882; 28. UMass-Dartmouth 889; 29. Norwich 903; 30. Trinity (Conn.) 917; 31. Lesley 925; 32. Salem State 946; 33. Mitchell 998; 34. Gordon 1,027; 35. Worcester State 1,032; 36. Clark 1,046; 37. Eastern Conn. St. 1,087; 38. Colby-Sawyer 1,116; 39. Castleton State 1,119; 40. Wheaton 1,134; 41. MCLA 1,178; 42. Mass. Maritime 1,236; 43. Framingham State 1,255; 44. Maine-Farmington 1,278; 45. Lasell 1,299; 46. St. Joseph's (Me.) 1,370; 47. Maine Maritime 1,410; 48. Southern Vermont 1,486

Men's individual runners who earned automatic qualification for NCAAs: Coby Horowitz, Bowdoin; Matt Rand, Tufts; Stephen Wahome, Bridgewater State; Antoine Gisore, New England College; Andrew Erskine, Amherst; Ryan O'Connell, Springfield; and Kevin Hoyt, Keene State.