In today’s Big East cross-country championship, the Georgetown men’s and women’s runners will be competing for places, times and a team title. The Hoyas have been working since June to get ready for this race, according to Head Coach Frank Gagliano. But just as important, the Hoyas will also be running for bragging rights. Both Georgetown squads are strong contenders for the team championship title, at Franklin Park in Boston. Last year the men finished in third place and the women in second place in last year’s championship. Currently, the men’s squad is ranked No. 12 in the NCAA Coaches’ poll, while the women come in at No. 7. “I want to win,” Gagliano said. “That’s the name of the game – winning and having a lot of fun. “We’re running for bragging rights in the Big East.” en’s 8,000-meter Championship: Georgetown will give Providence (1996 champion) and Notre Dame (1997 champion) a run for the team title this weekend. If the Hoyas can get strong performances from their top runners, they will be in a good position to steal the crown from the Friars or the Irish. Georgetown’s best chances for a top finisher today are in senior Justin McCarthy. In last year’s race, McCarthy came in third place, with a time of 25:04, just four seconds behind second-place finisher Ben Noad of Providence. cCarthy has performed consistently all year for the Hoyas. In Georgetown’s last race, the Bob Timmons Invitational in Kansas, McCarthy finished first among all Hoya runners, clocking a time of 25:09.70 over the 8,000-meter course for 10th place. The Hoyas finished eighth overall at that race. The next two runners for Georgetown are senior John Jordan and sophomore David Rodriguez. This duo should also contend for places on the All-Big East squad. After the top three runners, Gagliano anticipates strong performances from a group of runners, any of whom could be competing for a top finish at Franklin Park: Jonevan Hornsby, Matt Dunn, Kyle Smits, Corey Smith, Adam Daniels and Chris Marshall. Notre Dame is coming off of its first Big East title and returns three of five scorers that led the Irish. Sophomore Ryan Shay and seniors Antonio Arce and Ryan Maxwell made the All-Big East squad last season and should be in the front of the pack in today’s race. The Irish have turned in several impressive performances this season, including team titles at the Wolf and Kettle Invitational and the National Catholic Championships in September. The Irish finished behind the Hoyas at the Bob Timmons Invitational, coming in 12th overall. Providence is another team that will be challenging Georgetown and Notre Dame for the top spot today and is “the team to beat,” according to Gagliano. Providence won the championship in 1996 before surrendering the title to the Irish last year. Leading the Friars is Noad, the second-place finisher in last year’s race. Noad is undefeated this season and should be in the front of the pack at the end of the course. Women’s 5,000-meter Championship: On the women’s side, the Big East is “an incredible conference,” according to Associate Coach Ron Helmer. Several runners in this years’ field will not only be competing against each other for the Big East title, but also for the individual national championship. “Teams in the Big East have seven NCAA championships in the last nine years,” Helmer said. “We could be one of the top four or five teams in the country and still only get third in this conference.” The Hoyas are deep this season, with several runners that have made a major impact in races this fall. Senior Kate Landau, who is one of the top distance runners in the nation, indoor and outdoor, will lead the Hoya squad today in their quest for the top finish in the team competition. Landau finished third in last year’s meet, with a time of 17:15 for the 5,000-meter course. Sophomore Kristen Gordon and junior Autumn Fogg will also be battling for a spot on the All-Big East team. Gordon ran a 17:49 in last year’s race, for seventh place, and Fogg finished in the top 10 in the Lady Lion Invitational and the Wolverine Invitational this fall. Villanova will be a serious threat to Georgetown for the team title. The No. 10 Wildcats return Carrie Tollefson and Carmen Douma who finished one-two at last year’s Big East race. Tollefson, who has not run this season due to surgery from last season, is still considered a front-runner in this year’s race, and Douma could still claim the first-place finish that Tollefson captured last season. No. 4 Providence will also be battling for a place on the winner’s platform. Led by senior All-American Sarah Dupre, who finished fifth in last year’s race, the Friars feature quality runners and depth. Overall, the Hoyas could see a great amount of success today at the Big East championships. The course is flat and fast, something the Hoyas have not experienced yet this season, and not particularly hard, according to Helmer. Georgetown’s performance today could be indicative of how the Hoyas will compete in the national championships in a month. However, “you could run very well and walk away from the meet feeling we’re not really good,” Helmer said. “When it’s over, you close that chapter and move on to the next thing,” Gagliano said. “I never going into a meet thinking I can’t win. “We’re just really excited for this meet.

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