Amherst Women Headed for NCAA Championship|
Women Third at N.E. Regional; Men 11th
November 11, 2000
N. DARTMOUTH, Mass. - For the first time in school history, an Amherst College cross country team is headed to the NCAA Division III national championships after the women turned in a third-place finish at Saturday's New England regionals at UMass-Dartmouth. The top four teams in each region advance to the NCAA championships at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. this Saturday. Amherst's men also turned in a solid finish, placing 11th in the regional.
"It was an awesome feeling," said Amherst head coach Erik "Ned" Nedeau. "It's kind of a relief in a way, especially after our disappointment in not making the nationals last year. They went out there and laid it on the line. Now we're going to the show!"
Junior Katie Scangos (Hillsborough, CA), who was named second-team All-New England Small College Athletic Conference along with classmate Molly Burnett (Norwich, CT), paced the Jeffs with a 16th place finish, covering the 5,000 meter course in 18:25. Fellow junior Emily Lobsenz (Fairfield, CT) and senior Katie Famous (Tualitin, OR) weren't far behind in 22nd and 23rd place, respectively, with times of 18:36 and 18:37, while Burnett and first-year phenom Erinn White (Watertown, MA) finished 43rd and 46th at 18:56 and 19:00.
NESCAC rivals Middlebury College and Williams placed first and second in the women's regional, while Colby College finished fourth behind Amherst. All three schools will join the Jeffs at the NCAA Championship Meet this weekend.
On the men's side, sophomore Alex Lenkoski (Wethersfield, CT) finished 45th with a time of 26:18 to lead seven Amherst finishers in the top-140. Meanwhile, junior Nathaniel Robinson (Cranston, RI) and first-year Michael Page (Fargo, ND) finished 52nd and 56th, respectively, at 26:30 and 26:33, while fellow rookie John Stanton-Geddes (Glendale, MO) and sophomore Carson Taylor (South Windsor, CT) placed 79th (26:59) and 87th (27:05). Elsewhere in the pack, sophomore Brett Richey (Pittsburgh, PA) covered the 8,040-yard course in 28:06 and finished 132nd, followed by junior Ben Kozyak (Coral Gables, FL) in 136th place at 28:15.
Keene State College won the men's Regional, followed by NESCAC schools Williams, Tufts University and Trinity College.
Amherst's women will spend the rest of the week gearing up for their first-ever trip to the NCAA National Championship, flying into Spokane on Thursday, where they'll take part in pre-race festivities on Thursday night and Friday. Despite the magnitude of the event, Nedeau insists his team will maintain an even keel and treat the Nationals like any other meet.
"I'll tell them all week that yes, we're going to nationals, but it's still just a race," he added. "It's 5,000 meters just like every other race on every other weekend. We'll put our uniform on the same way we have in every other event this season."