No. 6 Saints Looking to Claim Program’s First Regional Title on Saturday
Nov. 11: The St. Lawrence University women's cross country team enters Saturday's 2009 NCAA Atlantic Regional race ranked No. 6 in the nation and first in the region, hoping to lock down a spot in this year's NCAA Championship. The Saints are No. 1 in the region entering the race for the first time in the program's history, followed by four-time defending champions and host Geneseo State.
The Atlantic Regional race, which was held at St. Lawrence University in 2008, is used to help set the field for the NCAA Championship competition. The winning and runner-up teams earn automatic bids into the 2009 NCAA Championship field, while the teams that finish third, fourth and fifth are eligible for consideration for an at-large bid.
"Geneseo is an outstanding team with a lot of tradition behind them so we fully expect a real battle for the regional title," said St. Lawrence head coach Mike Howard, whose team did earn an at-large selection to the 2008 NCAA field. "Last year, we just missed out on earning an automatic bid with a third place finish as a team. Although we will certainly be aiming for the win on Saturday, one of our primary goals all season was to put ourselves in a position to qualify automatically by finishing in the top two, so that's certainly our number one priority".
St. Lawrence has been led throughout the 2009 season by its trio of front-runners, including junior Wendy Pavlus, sophomore Jenna Hulton and senior co-captain Johannah Ludington. Each runner has won an event this season and the trio has combined for 14 top-3 finishes as well.
Meanwhile, the Scarlet and Brown will look to several competitors to round out the scoring on Saturday. Seniors Hillary St. John and Alexis Nuffer, junior Megan Derby, sophomore McKayla Nuffer and first-year student Jackie Lemme will be the primary candidates to lock down the final two scoring positions in hopes of landing an automatic bid into the NCAA Championship field.Saturday's Atlantic Regional race will begin at 11:00am. Meanwhile, the 2009 NCAA Championship field will be announced on Sunday afternoon.