HAVERFORD, Pa. – The fourth-ranked Haverford College men's cross country team will look to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship on Saturday, as the Fords head to the campus of DeSales University in Center Valley, Pa. for the NCAA Division III Mideast Regional Championship. The men's 8K race is slated for a noon start time. The top two finishers in the regional race will earn an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship next weekend in Winneconne, Wis. In addition, individuals among the top seven runners not on those top two teams will also earn a bid to the NCAA Championships. At-large bids to non-automatic qualifying teams will be decided on Sunday, as announced by an NCAA.com press release.
In total, 57 men's teams have entered runners into the regional championship. Haverford, the top team in the regional rankings throughout the season, will be allowed to enter a maximum of seven runners. Despite Haverford's strong position on top of the Mideast Regional, serious national contenders are expected to push the Fords on Saturday afternoon. Centennial Conference rival and No. 6 Johns Hopkins joins No. 7 Carnegie Mellon as hungry teams looking to make an impression heading into the national meet. The Fords defeated Johns Hopkins by just one point at the Centennial Conference Championships while Carnegie Mellon had a strong second-place showing at the UAA postseason meet, topped only by an impressive No. 3 Washington-St. Louis squad. No. 23 Dickinson will also contend for an automatic berth to nationals, buoyed by Centennial individual champion Eric Herrmann.
The Fords will look for another strong performance from the core of seniors that includes 2018 All-Centennial honorees Greg Morgan, Ryan Herlihy, Graham Peet, and Dylan Gearinger. Juniors Sam McCalpin and David Watt have also scored for Haverford this season while Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year Jamie Moreland and fellow first year Peter Buckley have been a consistent part of the Haverford top seven in 2018.
Herlihy and Peet have both posted multiple top 10 finishes at the regional meet while Gearinger and Morgan finished in the top 10 a season ago at Dickinson. In total, the Fords have captured 23 regional championships and have posted 12 individual championships, with Peet's Mideast Runner of the Year award a season a go representing the latest podium-topping performance at a regional. The Fords won the regional championship in dominating fashion a season ago, registering the third-best regional score in the illustrious history of the program, scoring 25 points while Peet, Henry Woods and Herlihy finished 1-2-3 while blowing by the field.
Haverford, coming off a 23rd Centennial Conference title, will be in strong position to return to the national championships for a 26th consecutive season. Haverford has not finished outside of the top five in a regional since 1988 and will rely on its proven and strong veteran leadership to get the job done at DeSales.