Men's cross country aims for 2nd national title in 3 years

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The top-ranked Haverford College men's cross country team will look to claim its second national title in the last three seasons as it takes part in the 2012 NCAA Division III cross country championships on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.

Ranked first in the country in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTCCCA) poll for the last three weeks, the Centennial Conference champions captured their third straight regional crown, and 21st overall, on November 10 as all seven runners earned All-Mideast region honors.

Leading the effort for the Fords at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course will be 2011 All-Americans senior Jordan Schilit and junior Brian Sokas. Schilit finished 18th at last year's national title race while Sokas placed 29th.

Running on the national stage for the first time, Christopher Stadler, the Centennial individual champion, will look to follow up on his strong performance at regionals where he finished second (25 minutes, 22.6 seconds).

Also cracking the top-10 at regionals were senior Peter Kissin (ninth, 25:35.9) and sophomore Joel Christian (10th, 25:38.0). Kissin will be able to draw on the experience of running at last year's national meet while Christian,  who merited first-team All-Centennial recognition this season, hopes to make an impact in his first time competing against the best runners in the nation.

Junior Avi Bregman -- a 2012 first-team all-conference honoree -- and sophomore David Roza round out the squad chasing the national championship. Freshman Charlie Marquardt – a member of the region's All-Freshmen squad -- will serve as Haverford's alternate.

Each of the past two seasons Haverford, under the watch of head coach Tom Donnelly, swept the league and region meets and followed with stellar performances at the NCAA championship, winning the title in 2010 and finishing as national runner-up in 2011.

Defending national champion North Central (Ill.) College and Calvin College enter the race as the nation's second and third-ranked teams, respectively.

The eight-kilometer race for a championship, hosted by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, will take place at 11 a.m. The LaVern Gibson Championship Course has served as the site for eight consecutive NCAA D- I Championships from 2004-11.

Delco Times Preview