CROSS COUNTRY Hoya Women Capture Big East Championship GU Men Place Fourth in Conference By Tom Kenny Hoya Staff Writer

Hoya File Photo Georgetown’s women’s cross country raced to first place this weekend.

The Georgetown women’s cross country team won its third overall Big East Championship, its second in the last three years, Friday at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y. The Hoyas, ranked third nationally in the latest Finishlynx Division I Women’s Cross Country Rankings, won out over extremely stiff competition, which included No. 5 Boston College, No. 8 Providence and No. 16 Villanova. The Hoyas led the way with 36 points, easily defeating Boston College, who had 73 points; Providence, who had 93; Notre Dame, who had 107; and Villanova who came in with a score of 112. On the men’s side of the Big East Championships, the Hoyas took fourth place behind Notre Dame, Villanova and Providence respectively.

In the tournament, the women were led by a trio of juniors, most notably All-American Marni Kruppa who finished first on the team and second overall in the 6K race, 23 seconds behind winner Catherine Buiney of Boston College. Other juniors Jill Laurendeau and Erin Sicher finished fourth and eighth overall respectively.

“This was our goal and we thought it was an attainable goal, but we hadn’t run against Providence or Boston College yet this season, and we thought they would be our biggest challenges,” Head Coach Ron Helmer said. He added, “To win by the margin we did was pretty nice. Our girls would be silly not to use this as a confidence booster when we face these teams again down the road.” The victory is the third of the season for the Hoyas in only four meets. They also won the Mount St. ary’s Invite in September and the Pre-NCAA meet in Greenville, S. C., two weeks ago. Helmer said, “This is a unique team in that these girls just want to run fast. They follow the race plan every week. This isn’t a group of girls that is going to check the rankings every morning.”

The fourth place finish by men at the Big East Championships was expected, according to Helmer.

“We knew that regardless of whether we had a good year or a horrible year that we’d probably finish fourth,” he said.

This was proven accurate at the tournament as the Hoyas finished well behind the top three finishers and well ahead of the rest of the league. Champion Notre Dame had 49 points and barely edged out Villanova with 52 points and Providence with 54 points. The Hoyas were further back with a score of 106 points. Fifth place Connecticut was well off the pace with a score of 163.

“We had to take a step backwards this year in order to get to the level we want to be. There’s a method to our madness,” Helmer said.

A number of Hoyas were redshirted this year including freshman Charles Millioen, who is regarded as one of the most talented runners in the nation. At the tournament, the Hoyas were led by another freshman, Rob Kaborsi, who finished 14th overall in the 8000-meter race and by senior Chris Miltenberg who came in 15th overall. The race was won by of Connecticut with a time of 24:22.

Both the men’s and women’s team will compete in the Virginia Invite in Charlottesville next Saturday followed by the id-Atlantic Regional Championships in Bethlehem, Penn. on Nov. 10. At the regionals, the women are a heavy favorite to finish as one of the top two teams and thus secure a birth to the NCAA National Championships. Helmer indicated that he intends to rest some of the women runners at the regionals, especially the freshmen, who can most be affected by the long season. The tournament is much more significant for the men, who face difficult competition from schools such as Penn State, Princeton and conference rival Villanova.

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