X-C Running in Regionals

by Rawson Daniel | 11/9/01 6:00am

This Saturday at Franklin Park in Boston, the Dartmouth cross country teams will attempt to qualify for the NCAA championships in a qualifier race. The Big Green men and women's teams will compete against a strong field to try and finish in the top two slots, which would earn the teams an automatic bid to the championship race held in Furman, South Carolina on Nov. 19.

Men's coach Barry Harwick likes his team's chances of qualifying: "We have qualified for the NCAA meet for three years in a row. I like our chances to make it four."

The Big Green men are laced with talent. Junior Tom McArdle finished first in the Heps Championship held last month and was All-American in track and field last year. Senior captain Jason Taylor, sophomore Jarrod Shoemaker, sophomore Mark Nichol and freshman Kevin Arnold also figure to finish high in this weekend's race. If Dartmouth can get a strong race from these five runners, the Big Green should be in contention for one of the two automatic bids to the NCAA championship.

"If we run up to our capabilities, we will finish in the top two places and get an automatic bid," Harwick said.

The Big Green women are also aiming high this weekend. They finished in the top five at Heps and hope to improve this weekend.

"Though only the top two teams automatically qualify for the NCAAs, our district is considered to be one of the most competitive in the country, such that most predict a minimum of four teams will qualify (two additional teams will be given at-large berths)," coach Ellen O'Neil said. "We will strive to attain one of those spots. To do so we must beat our Heps opponents who finished ahead of us two weeks ago, which is a doable task if we hit the right day."

The women also have a highly talented team that is just starting to hit its stride. The team ran well at Heps and has the runners to finish high this weekend.

Lara Niell and Jessie Allen-Young, both named to the first team all-Ivy, have an excellent chance to make the NCAAs as individuals. Both are coming off of big races from Heps.

This weekend figures to be another exciting one for the Dartmouth cross country teams. With any luck, the men and women should be heading to the NCAA championships a couple of weeks from now.