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2005 Centennial Conference Cross Country Championship Outlook

Oct. 25, 2005

It's a First: For the first time in Centennial Conference history, Johns Hopkins will host the league's cross country championships, set for Saturday, October 29 at Oregon Ridge Park in Timonium, Md.

The Teams to Beat: A pair of streaks are on the line coming into the championships, as the Haverford men have taken each of the 12 conference cross country team titles and Dickinson owns wins in each of the last five championships. Each of those teams brings arguably the strongest group to the 2005 championships.

The Dickinson women, ranked seventh in the Oct. 18 Division III Cross Country Rankings, return three of the four runners they placed in the top 14 of the Centennial Championships last season.

Headlining the group is senior Emily Hulme, who took the individual title with a 22:47 finish last year at McDaniel. Seniors Abbey Fergusson and Annie Scogin also return to the championships for the Red Devils, coming in at third and 14th, respectively.

Haverford's men, who sit ninth in the Oct. 18 D-III rankings, placed nine runners in the top 14 in 2004 at the conference championships.

The Fords will return five from that top group at the championships, including the 2004 individual champion, senior Will McGuire. Junior Zach Vaslow, senior Grant Scott and junior Ian Ramsey-North also put in top 10 performances, finishing fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

The Contenders:Throughout the conference, there are numerous runners who can challenge for the individual title or lift their teams to a championship.

Some of the top performers on the women's side include Muhlenberg senior Karen Mount with five top-10 finishes and two wins, and Franklin & Marshall junior Meredith Janeczek with four top-10 finishes. Strong performances are also expected from Swarthmore freshman Emma Stanley with top-20 finishes in each meet and sophomores Jane Weber of Haverford and Angela Kaon of Johns Hopkins, who each have a pair of top-10 finishes to their credit.

Top Centennial men's performers include Dickinson senior Tom Rhodes with three wins this season, junior teammate Matt Liebal with six top-five finishes and Muhlenberg junior Steve Rothwell with four top-10 finishes. Top times in the championships could also come from McDaniel senior Paul Hugus with two meet wins and Gettysburg junior Andy Carmer with three top-10 finishes.

Familiar Territory:Many of these same squads raced at Oregon Ridge on Oct. 7, fighting the wind and rain in preparation for these championships.

On the women's side, Haverford led the pack of Centennial teams at Oregon Ridge, finishing third overall. Franklin & Marshall and Johns Hopkins took fourth and fifth, respectively. Five conference runners placed in the top 10, with Muhlenberg's Mount leading the way in third, finishing in 22:27.

For the men, Swarthmore took first place, followed by Muhlenberg (second), Haverford (tie-fourth) and Johns Hopkins (tie-fourth). Eight Centennial runners finished in the top 10, with junior Vernon Chaplin of Swarthmore placing second among collegiate runners with a time of 27:21.