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Preview: Men's Cross Country Ready for NCAA Championship Meet

Jimmy Gorman
Jimmy Gorman

Meet Video

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's cross country team heads to the Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wisconsin for the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships. The team has finished in the top ten in nine of the last 11 national meets, highlighted by the team's national championship in 2010.

The 43rd edition of the men's national race will feature 280 competitors from 79 schools. Last season, North Central (Ill.) won its fourth team title in six years. Haverford placed 14th last season, led by David Roza '15's 50th place finish.

The Fords qualified for the national meet for the 23rd straight year after claiming the Mideast Regional last week. Haverford is on a roll of late, having won its last four meets. Head coach Tom Donnelly's squad had 67 team points in the regional race, 26 fewer than Elizabethtown, who received the other automatic qualifier. The Fords had seven runners claim all-regional status in senior Charlie Marquardt, junior Jimmy Gorman, senior Sam Fujimori, sophomore Henry Woods, freshman Graham Peet, seniors Nicholas Gandolfo-Lucia and Dylan Verner-Crist.

Marquardt won his second consecutive individual title at the regional race with a time of 25:14.8, nine seconds in front of Muhlenberg's Jaryd Flank. The senior is on an incredible run, having won the last four races he's entered and six of the last eight events.

Because of his stellar 2015 season, Marquardt was named the Division III Mideast Regional Runner of the Year by the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA). Donnelly was named the regional Coach of the Year for the fourth time in last six years.

Haverford's four-meet winning streak started with a victory at the Rowan Inter-Collegiate Border Battle (Oct. 17). Marquardt won the individual title with a time of 24:40, four seconds shy of his personal best mark. The Fords' had their top five runners among the first 21 finishers in the 231-person event to win the race. The following week at the Haverford Invitational, the cross country squad had seven of the top eight scorers to win its second straight meet. 

Last month, the Fords defended its Centennial Conference Championship with its five scorers placing inside the top ten, highlighted by Marquardt's second straight conference individual title. 

Haverford scored its 20th conference title in 23 seasons while Marquardt became the 18th Ford to win the conference event. The senior is just the fifth person in conference history and fourth person from Haverford to win back-to-back titles. Chris Stadler '14 (2012-13), current cross country assistant coach J.B. Haglund '02 (2000-01) and Karl Paranya '97 (1994-96) were the other runners under head coach Tom Donnelly to win multiple crowns. With the win, Donnelly was voted the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight year and fifth time in his career. 

Marquardt (25:09.2) crossed the finish line four seconds in front of Gorman at the conference race. Fujimori was fifth while Peet was eighth, Gandolfo-Lucia placed ninth, Woods finished 10th, junior Michael Brier completed the race in 11th and Verner-Crist was 14th. 

The women's national race will begin at 12 p.m., while the men's 8,000-meter competition commences at 1:30 p.m. A link to live video of the championships can be found above.