The Georgetown cross country team had been on a racing tear – the men recently won the first-place trophy at the id-Atlanic Regional Championships and added a second-place finish at the Big East Championships behind Notre Dame. Meanwhile the women’s team, finishing third at the Regional Championships, was improving week to week with strong performances each race.

This forward momentum should have set the stage for a breakout performance at the NCAA Championships: Georgetown’s goal since the beginning of the preseason.

“Obviously it’s our goal to be in the top 10 every year, because of the history we have,” Assistant Coach Pat Henner said. “Many other teams would be happy with top-30 finish, but we’ve got great runners.”

But the Hoyas fell short of their goal when the team completed its season Nov. 22 at the NCAA championships in Terre Haute, Ind., with the women taking 27th place and the men finishing 16th.

Despite the disappointing finale, the successes and accomplishment from the rest of the season can’t be discounted.

The duo of senior captain All-American Fleet Hower and junior att Debole have led the team this season. Hower, who finished 26th overall in the race, was awarded All-American honors. Debole’s performance, meanwhile, was hindered by a nagging foot injury, finishing 164th.

“Fleet had a tremendous cross country season. He’s the regional champion and an all-American,” Henner said. “[It was] probably one of the best Georgetown seasons ever.”

Hower and Debole’s performances were supported by the rest of the squad, who also had fine seasons.

Senior Charles Millieon and sophomore Dann Nunn were consistent scorers all season. Coming back from years of injury, illieon’s successful season was all the more impressive.

Freshman Mike Krisch had a promising debut season as a Hoya as he steadily became a key element of the Georgetown squad. He finished in 13th place at the Regional championships, and went on to finish 138th place at the NCAA meet.

Many other Hoyas played key roles in the successful season, including juniors Brian Dalpiaz, Rasheed Thompson and Andre Laboy as well as senior Tommy Manning.

“Laboy, Dalpiaz, Krisch and Nunn are all knocking on the door of becoming really good collegiate runners. They just have to believe that they’re that good,” Henner said.

The women’s team ran par to their expectations at the NCAA meet, capping a season filled with uneven performances.

Behind a young squad, the 2005 cross country season proved to be a vital building year.

“They’ve had good performances during the season, but overall, I’m pleased and encouraged by the progress in terms of work ethic and attitude,” the Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Ron Helmer said. “I really like where we are. We’re young and putting things in place.”

Similar to the men, a duo emerged that led the team for the majority of the season. Junior Elizabeth Maloy and sophomore Maggie Infeld have finished in the top spots for almost every cross country meet this season.

Maloy’s impressive season included earning All-Big East honors with a sixth-place finish and a 15th-place overall showing at the Regional meet. A slight injury hindered her 110th-place performance at the NCAA meet.

Infeld, who had an equally impressive season, raced to a fifth-place finish at the Regional meet while also earning All-Big East honors with her 10th-place showing at the Big East Championships. At 75th place, she was the Hoyas’ top finisher at the NCAA championships.

Senior Erin Henry became a model of consistency this season as she continually posted points for the Hoyas behind Maloy and Infeld.

“Erin trained better than ever before and raced better than she’s ever raced this season,” Helmer said. “I’m confident that there’s still more in her, though.”

Other key runners who contributed to the Hoyas’ success were seniors Sabine Knothe and Kim Malcolm and junior Joanne Rodgers. Freshman Lise Ogrodnick adjusted to collegiate competition as she earned a spot on the Hoya squad that traveled to NCAA championships. She finished in 138th position.

“The freshman class this year has done a great job at accepting the responsibilities of a big time college cross country team,” Helmer said.

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