Xavier Cross Country Ready For 2011 Atlantic 10 Championships
Oct. 28, 2011
CINCINNATI - Final preparations were made today by the Xavier cross country teams who will participate in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning at Frank Liske Park in Concord, N.C.
The day's events get underway with the 34th running of the men's 8-kilometer championship race at 10 a.m. and conclude with the 23rd women's 5-kilometer championship run at 10:45 a.m. This will be the first time the A-10 Championship has been held at the course 20 miles outside of downtown Charlotte.
Saturday's race will be the fourth-consecutive 8K distance for the men's team who have three top five finishes as a team this year. They last competed at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 16 where they placed 28th as a team.
In the A-10 Preseason Poll the men were expected to finish seventh, while the women were picked to finish 10th.
Sophomore Tom Ohlman has been the strongest consistent runner for the men's team this year. Last year's three-time rookie of the week winner has been the top runner in three of the four races this year. He has a season-best 8K time of 25:09.
Senior Keith Albrektson has been a mainstay in the top finishers for the Musketeers this season and has three top 30 individual finishes. Last year's second finisher at the A-10 meet for Xavier set an 8K personal-best time of 25:04 earlier this season.
The women's team competed in their first 6-kilometer race of the season two weekends ago at the NCAA Pre-National Invitational. Senior Caylin Howell once again led the women, who finished 25th as a team. They moved into the 15 spot of the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region poll for the first time of the season following the race.
Howell has been the top finisher in three consecutive races for Xavier. She produced a personal-best 5K time of 18:14 at the National Catholic Invite on Sept. 16.
Sophomore Ashley Vincent failed to finish that race, but has had strong showings in all other meets this year. She was the Musketeers' top finisher with a season-best time of 18:32.40 at the Queen City Invitational on Sept. 9.
Sophomore Clare Fischer has enjoyed a breakthrough season with three finishes in the top 23 this year. Earlier this year she produced a new 5K personal-best (18:14). Her twin sister Abby Fischer is also a top runner for the women's team.
The men led by then-senior Tommy Kauffmann finished sixth at the event last year held at Schenley Park in Pittsburgh. The women finished 10th out of 14 teams with sophomore Ashley Vincent leading the Musketeers.