Courtesy Kirk Reed, CACC Assistant Commissioner
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Felician College and Philadelphia University will look to repeat as champions at the 2011 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships this weekend at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia. The event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 23, with the women taking off at 10 am and the men to follow at approximately 11:00 am. Felician claimed last year's men's title, while Philadelphia has won the last three women's crowns.
The Felician men maintained its No. 7 position in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region ranking, released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Golden Falcons, guided by 10th-year head coach John Brennan, sit in the No. 7 slot for the third consecutive week. The Golden Falcons have won the conference title eight times in their 11-year history. The Golden Falcons return four runners who claimed All-Conference honors last season as a result of finishing in the top-15 at the championship meet. Junior Rob Albano finished third last year and has won CACC Runner of the Week honors four times this season. Also back is senior James Vander Wiele and juniors Taylor Trumbetti and Tim Kicha.
The Philadelphia women are currently ranked fifth in the East Region according to this week's USTFCCCA poll. The Lady Rams return defending CACC individual champion, Sarah Simonetti, who won last year's race with a time of 19:28. She has been selected conference Runner of the Week five times in 2011. Three other returning All-Conference runners are back for PhilaU, including seniors Gabrielle Dei Tos and Angelica DiNucci, and sophomore Chelsea Attaway. Attaway earned CACC Rookie of the Year honors last season.
Philadelphia finished second in the men's race last season, followed by Wilmington University and University of the Sciences. Wilmington junior Bill Steele is back this year after winning medalist honors in 2010. He crossed the line in 26:54 last year, just two seconds ahead of the runner-up. The Rams welcome back a pair of All-Conference runners in junior Kip Kirui and senior Tyler Dye, who finished sixth and seventh, respectively, at last year's championship. The Devils return two All-CACC runners from last season in Georgiy Polyak and Marty Farrell.
Dominican College finished second in the women's race in 2010, with Wilmington just one point behind. Both return a pair of All-CACC runners from last season. The Chargers return sophomore Jessica Avila and senior Samantha Klunk, while the Wildcats welcome back sophomore Whitney Hora and senior Danielle Riley.