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Men's Cross Country Ascends to Podium with Fourth Place Finish at NCAA Championships

Men's Cross Country Ascends to Podium with Fourth Place Finish at NCAA Championships

WINNECONNE, Wisc. – On a cold but clear day at the Lake Breeze Golf Course, the Haverford College men's cross country team raced to a podium finish for the seventh time in program history, taking home team hardware for the first time since the 2012 season with a fourth place finish. The poised performance also ensured that Haverford would place within the top 20 teams in the nation for the 26th straight season.

Recording a total of 213 points and registering a team average time of 25:12, the Fords were the top finisher among Mideast Regional foes, easily outpacing ninth place finisher Johns Hopkins (308 points), and 18th place Carnegie Mellon (495 points). Haverford jumped four places from last season's eighth place finish at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. 

Three All-America finishers paced Haverford as seniors Graham Peet (16th), Greg Morgan (18th), and Ryan Herlihy (29th), all finished within the top 40 individuals on Saturday afternoon. The three All-America finishes represented the first time that Haverford has placed three within the criteria for All-America designation since the 2011 national runner-up squad. The 2010 national championship team also garnered three All-Americans.

After a false start, the race got under way about five minutes late, but the Haverford strategy was clear from the gun as the Fords were content to build throughout the race. Haverford was in seventh at the 2.3k split, briefly pulled into sixth at the 3k split, and jumped to a steady fifth place slot before pulling past Wartburg and onto the podium in the final kilometer. 

Peet capped an illustrious cross country career with his first All-America finish after a Mideast Region Athlete of the Year award a season ago. Peet's time of 24:49.3 easily eclipsed his race from a season ago, and his 16th place finish was 34 spots better than his 50th place finish last season. Peet scored 12 for Haverford, providing the low stick.

Greg Morgan continued his steady rise with an 18th place finish in 24:50.1, sticking tight with Peet and obliterating his 172nd place finish from 2017, scoring 14 points. Herlihy was 29th in 24:54.3; placing 27 spots higher than his performance a season ago as the steadiness of the top three allowed the Fords some security as the pack began to separate. Herlihy's run added just 21 points to the team total.

Junior Sam McCalpin scored 61 in his second trip to the national meet, finishing in 85th with a time of 25:30, 32 spots better than his national debut last season. Making his national debut, Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year Jamie Moreland proved to be a vital fifth scorer with a 147th place finish in 25:51.8, scoring 105. First year Peter Buckley finished in 238th in 26:30.9, while Junior David Watt crossed in 263rd in 27:12.6 to round out the Haverford entrants, as the pair were each also making their first trip to nationals.

North Central (Ill.) took the national championship for the 19th time in program history with 43 points. Washington-St. Louis (110 points), and Wisconsin La Crosse (127 points) joined the Fords on the podium. Dhruvil Patel of North Central won the individual championship.