Tim Erickson/The Hoya Sophomore Chris Lukezic was the second-best finisher for the Hoya men’s cross country team Saturday, earning seventh place overall. with a time of 30:51 in the 10km.

Returning to the Hilltop as champions once again, the Hoyas came back with more than another gold medal. Their performances at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship held Saturday in Lockhaven, Pa, earned them automatic team bids to the NCAA Championships to be held on Nov. 24.

The women’s cross country team, ranked 16th in the nation, turned in stellar performances, defeating 26 other teams to become the Regional Champions. The Hoyas have won the Regionals for the past five years and hold the record for the longest streak of qualifying for Nationals, which they extended to 16 years with this latest win.

Senior Treniere Clement, continuing her impressive senior campaign, clocked a time of 20:02 to spearhead a team effort with her first place finish in a race that featured over 170 runners. “We told Treniere to just stay with the lead pack and to remain in that position until the end, where she made her move with 400m to go to win the race,” said Ron Helmer, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country.

Junior Nicole Lee, who finished ninth in 20:34, backed up the Hoya scoring, as did senior Amanda Pape, who finished in 20:51 for 11th place. Junior Jodee Adams-Moore and senior Colleen Kelly, who finished in 16th and 19th places with respective times of 21:13 and 21:18, rounded out the five-runner pack..

“We needed to run well as a team, and to make our presence known in the nation. The girls responded to pressure and created a great identity for the team,” Helmer said.

In terms of cross country teams, the nation is split up into nine different regions. Each of these has a Regional Meet. Three of these meets were won by Big East teams: Notre Dame, Providence and Georgetown. The Hoyas’ cumulative score of 56 points for the 6km race was ahead of second-place Princeton, which finished with 78 points, and the third-place Villanova, which had 98 points.

On the men’s side, the Hoyas captured the runner-up position, missing first place to Villanova by just two points. The Wildcats scored 55 points, ahead of the Hoyas’ 57. Nonetheless, the Hoyas still earned an automatic berth to the National Championships. Sophomore Fleet Hower led ninth-ranked Georgetown. As the Hoyas’ top finisher, Hower covered the 10km course in 30:50 to cross the line in sixth place. Sophomore Chris Lukezic came in to capture seventh place with 30:51. Junior team captain Rod Koborsi turned in an 11th-place finish in a time of 30:54, as senior Dan Tebbano and freshman Matt Debole rounded out the Hoya scorers with 16th- and 17th-place finishes in respective times of 31:06 and 31:08.

“They went out very conservatively and we wanted to make sure that we didn’t overextend ourselves as a team,” Helmer said.

Freshman Dan Mazzocco of Penn State won the men’s race with a time of 30:26, followed by Villanova’s Jonathon Fasulo and Ryan Haden with times of 30:30 and 30:35. Behind Villanova and Georgetown, the third- and fourth-place team finishers were Princeton with 91 points and American with 95 points. Penn State completed the top five teams with 187 points.

Since 1965, when Georgetown finished fourth in the Mid-Atlantic Regionals, its best performances have been sixth-place showings in 1989 and 1995.

“Of course, our goal all season has been to finish in the top 10 teams at NCAAs, and if some other teams falter, we could even squeeze up into the middle of those 10 teams,” Helmer said.

Both the men’s and women’s teams are almost undefeated in their meets this season. Between the two squads, they have accumulated seven first place finishes this season and have always finished in the top 10.

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