Oct. 28, 2009
Baltimore, Md. - After placing fourth in both the men's and women's conference championships in 2008, the Greyhounds cross country teams are poised to improve on those results at the MAAC Championships, held at Van Cortlandt Park, Friday, October 30.
This will be the second time this season Loyola will take on Van Cortlandt, which is rated one of the toughest courses in the nation. The previous knowledge of the course should be beneficial for the Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds were led by Dan McDevitt at the Iona Meet of Champions held at Van Cortlandt. The senior placed 16th of 203 runners at the meet, while the women placed four in the top 60, garnering a regional ranking the following week.
Junior Kate Cervo led the women's team at last season's conference championships with a fourth place finish, the highest placing for a Greyhounds female since 2006. Her 22:00.61 time was the sixth fastest time in program history on a 6k course. McDevitt was third on Loyola last season in the MAAC's, placing 26th overall.
For the first time all season, which is also a rarity for every program across the country, the top five on both squads are completely healthy, which should boost the team's chances on improvement.
Kate Cervo should once again lead the women's squad after not getting off to a quick start at the jam-packed Brooks Pre-Nationals. Cervo should be followed closely by juniors Amanda Bossi and Alyssa Doyle, who have shown they can stay with Cervo on a race-to-race basis. Sophomore Stephanie Gibney and senior Courtney McNamara will also be near the front of the pack, giving the Greyhounds a formidable scoring five. Don't be surprised to see another sophomore, Emily Doucette, to possibly jump into the top five for a team that has the potential to finish top three, or even win the MAAC.
The men will be out for `vengeance,' said head coach Rick Woods, after last year's disappointing fourth place team finish. As he's done all season, McDevitt will be expected to lead the men, a team that has never placed higher than fourth at MAAC's. Juniors Stephen Febish and Kieran Dowling should be able to stay close to McDevitt, as will senior Terry Moran. The top five is expected to be rounded out by sophomore Matt Hassett. With a strong showing this weekend, and at NCAA Regionals, McDevitt has a shot at qualifying individually for the NCAA Championships in Terra Haute, Ind.
Following the Battle in the Bronx, the Greyhounds will travel to the Eastern Shore, for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional hosted by the Hawks of UMES. The women's regional race will be the traditional 6k, while the men will compete in a brutal 10k race.