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Season Preview: With High Expectations, Men's Cross Country Taking it One Race at a Time

Season Preview: With High Expectations, Men's Cross Country Taking it One Race at a Time

Preseason Captains Interview

HAVERFORD, Pa. -  The Haverford College men's cross country teams looks forward to a 2018 season that figures to be a memorable one, with a strong experienced squad setting its sights on Oshkosh, Wisconsin and the NCAA Division III National Championships after finishing eighth a season ago.

Haverford has placed within the top 20 at the national meet for 25 straight seasons, dating back to the 1993 campaign, continuing a tradition of excellence that culminated with the 2010 national championship.

The focus remains on taking things one meet at a time, with preparation for Conference Championships the first goal in sight.

Haverford's senior-laden squad is ranked fifth in the USTFCCCA preseason poll and tops the Mideast Regional. In addition, the Fords are picked by the coaches of the Centennial Conference to repeat as conference champions for the fifth consecutive season.  

Henry Woods graduates after picking up back-to-back All-America finishes in 2017 and 2018. Mideast Region Runner of the Year Graham Peet returns for his senior season alongside All-Region selections and NCAA national meet scorers senior Ryan Herlihy, Greg Morgan and Dylan Gearinger. Peet remains on track to be just the 12th four-time NCAA Qualifier in program history. Chris Goings, co-captain Ian Woodhouse and Josh Frye also will be looking to make a mark in their final season at Haverford.

Juniors David Watt and James Barker and sophomores Matt Katz and Gene Perry are returners with their sights set on breaking the 26-minute barrier. Juniors Sam Ditkovsky, Steve Gan, William Hillegas, Hiro Kawakatsu, Conor Madden, Simon Perales and David Watt will join sophomores Jack Hunter, Oscar Melendez, and Nathan Akerhielm as returners with sights set on establishing new personal bests and taking another step forward in the new season. Jacob Landsberg joins cross country after competing as part of the Track & Field team a season ago.

A class of 10 first years will join the program for 2018, with Jeffrey Allen, Max Brelig, Peter Buckley, Jacob Gaba, Scott Kaiser, Amos Karlsen, Jamie Moreland, Ryan O'Donnell, Colin Riley and Nico Tripeny all coming into the fold.

Haverford will have its first chance to prove its mettle at the Alumni Open on Saturday. The Fords host the Main Line Invitational on September 14 and head to the Paul Short Run to wrap up the month of September against some of the strongest competition in the area. Haverford will get a feel for the national championship course as the Fords will head to the Oshkosh Invitational in Wisconsin on October 13. The Centennial Conference Championships return to Haverford on Saturday, October 27. The Mideast Regional is slated for Center Valley, Pa. (Nov. 10) while the NCAA Championships are at Oshkosh on November 17.