Regional victory sends men's cross country on to nationals

Eric Arnold (bib #64), Andrew Sturner (#97) and Peter Kissin (#77).
Eric Arnold (bib #64), Andrew Sturner (#97) and Peter Kissin (#77).

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Haverford College's men's cross country team captured the 2011 NCAA Mideast Regional title Saturday at DeSales University, and with that victory the Fords earned a spot at the NCAA championship meet next weekend in Oshkosh, Wis.

The top two teams at each of the eight regionals across the country earn automatic bids. Haverford, with 52 points, and Dickinson College (129 points), both from the Centennial Conference, earned the Mideast's berths. Allegheny College (169 pts.) was third with the Centennial's Johns Hopkins University (169 pts.) coming in fourth.

The Fords placed their five scoring runners within the top 25 finishers Saturday and were led by senior All-American Eric Arnold who crossed the finish of the eight-kilometer course in second place, a half step behind Allegheny's Bobby Over. The pair registered identical times of 25 minutes, 25 seconds.

Junior Jordan Schilit (fourth, 25:34) and senior Andrew Sturner (10th, 25:53) also raced to top-10 finishes for Haverford. The final two scoring runners for the Fords were 14th-place Peter Kissin (Jr., 26:00) and sophomore Brian Sokas (22nd, 26:18). The scoring five for Haverford were separated by just 54 seconds.

Senior Tim Schoch (28th, 26:24) and junior Ivo Milic-Strkalj (33rd, 26:37) joined the first five Fords in running to all-region (top-35) honors.

Two weekends ago, led by Schilit's first-place finish, the Fords won the Centennial championship for the second consecutive year. In the 2010 season, Haverford won both the conference and region championships on the way to capturing the national crown, the first NCAA title won by any team from the College.

The 2011 NCAA championship meet will me hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh on Saturday, Nov. 19.

2011 NCAA Mideast Regional results