Despite their distinctive brand new long-sleeve singlets, the Georgetown men’s cross country team remained content going unnoticed at the onset of the Mid-Atlantic regional cross country championships. As the field of 189 runners paraded through the first mile or so of the course, spectators would have been hard-pressed to pick out Georgetown’s runners camouflaged in the middle of the pack.

Yet as the course split from the main crowd, the Hoyas made their move. Steadily moving up in the field, the Hoyas cemented themselves at the top of the pack, poised for a final push.

Finally, coming out of the woods and down the final straightaway, there was no mistaking Georgetown now, as the blue and gray singlets were peppered amongst the top finishers. When it was all said and done, Georgetown had placed all seven of its runners in the top 22, good for an overwhelming 42 points and first place amongst the 28-team field.

Leading the way for the men was the duo of senior Matt Debole and redshirt sophomore Andrew Bumbalough, who covered the 10-kilometer course in 30:18 and 30:2.4, for second and third place finishes, respectively.

Yet, the success was widespread throughout the team.

“As far as race execution as a whole group, it’s by far the best we’ve had all season. All seven guys followed the race plan to the tee,” Head Coach Pat Henner said.

Debole didn’t have to wait long to see the rest of the squad, as redshirt junior Justin Scheid (11th), redshirt sophomore Levi Miller (12th), junior Mike Krisch (14th), freshman Ayalew Taye (15th) and sophomore Sandy Roberts (22nd), all entered the chute less than 40 seconds after he did. Every individual garnered a place on the all-Mid-Atlantic team.

“It feels good looking behind you down the chute and seeing all your teammates,” Debole said.

On the women’s side, the results were strikingly similar to the team’s solid performance at the Big East championships. Senior Melissa Grelli continued her impressive season by again taking first and smashing yet another course record, while the team turned in a solid performance to finish third behind Providence and West Virginia.

Georgetown closed the gap on tough-running West Virginia, falling short by only two points in comparison to the 13- point deficit they faced two weeks ago. Turning in solid performances were junior Lise Ogrodnick and senior Liz Maloy who took eighth and ninth place respectively for all-region honors. Rounding out the Hoyas’ top five were senior Maggie Infeld (27th), and sophomore Lauren Gregory (34th).

“I thought across the board, everyone did a great job,” Coach Chris Miltenberg said.

Although the women fell just short of an automatic bid to nationals, the Hoyas’ case for an at-large bid was strengthened as Rice, Colorado State and North Carolina State, all teams that the Hoyas beat at pre-nationals, took first in their respective regions. Georgetown received one of the 13 at-large bids.

Looking forward to nationals, both the men’s and women’s teams look poised to make waves in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 19. Henner likes the teams’ chances of performing well.

“We’ve got the luxury of being able to put seven guys out there who all can run real well. It just has to be the exact same mentality they had today, only in a different circumstance,” he said.

“It’s all about staying controlled and running your race and not letting the masses control what you do,” said Bumbalough, who is eying all-American honors and at least a top-10 team finish.

On the women’s side the prospects are high, both for the squad and individual standout Grelli. With a larger race playing in the Hoyas’ favor due to their low-scoring top runners, the team looks to find a place on the podium at nationals.

For Grelli, who turned in a 19:50 course record at regionals, a performance that was a “controlled, sub-maximal effort,” in Miltenberg’s words, it’s evident that she can run with anybody in the country. Grelli herself is anxious to finish amongst the nation’s best.

“Every race is a new experience, a new chance and a new opportunity to improve on your past performances,” she said.

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