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Season Recap: Men's Cross Country Finishes Fourth at Nationals

Season Recap: Men's Cross Country Finishes Fourth at Nationals

Season Highlights:  The Haverford men's cross country team made its first immediate impact on the national landscape at the Paul Short Run Gold Race (Sept. 29) at Lehigh University. The Fords outran nationally ranked Division III opponents Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Amherst, and Christopher Newport while also finishing above regionally-ranked Division I teams from Lehigh, Penn, Saint Joseph's, La Salle, and American. Haverford's 10th place finish helped set the tone for the year to come. The next big test for the Fords came at the Pre-Nationals meet, hosted by UW-Oshkosh (Oct. 13). The Fords finished fourth at that meet, putting themselves squarely into the conversation for a national podium finish going into the championship segment of the season.

In rainy and wet conditions at the Centennial Conference Championships (Oct. 27), the Fords edged a challenge from Johns Hopkins to take their fifth-straight conference title on their home course. Haverford won its 23rd overall Centennial title to extend a run of dominance that has lasted more than two decades under head coach Tom Donnelly, the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year. At the NCAA Mideast Regional at DeSales (Nov. 10), Ryan Herlihy finished second overall to pace Haverford to a second place finish, ensuring a 26th consecutive appearance at the national meet for the Fords.

On a cold but clear day in Winneconne, Wisconsin, the Fords raced to a podium finish for the seventh time in program history at the NCAA National Championships (Nov. 17). The Fords took home team hardware for the first time since the 2012 season with a fourth place overall 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).


Season Notes: Haverford has now placed within the top 20 at the national meet for the 26th straight season, dating back to the 1993 season … Haverford has 38 All-Americans in the illustrious history of the program … Graham Peet became just the 12th Haverford runner to compete in the national championship meet in all four of his seasons of eligibility … The Fords saw a program-record four student-athletes named to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area squad, making up over half of the seven honorees … Tom Donnelly took home his eighth overall Centennial Conference Coach of the Year Award, and won that plaudit for the fifth consecutive season. 

 Looking ahead: The Fords will have a new look as its three All-America finishers leave to graduation. Junior Sam McCalpin headlines the returners, as a two-time nationals participants who will look to make his third trip to nationals as the meet is held in his hometown of Louisville, Ky. Junior David Watt also returns from a nationals performance, while talented first years Jamie Moreland and Peter Buckley also made appearances at the national meet in their first seasons … Moreland will enter his sophomore campaign as the reigning Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year. Before the Fords must say goodbye to one of the most talented classes in the history of the program, the track season will begin in earnest as the first Indoor meet is slated for Saturday, December 8.