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Women's Cross Country Set to Host 2018 Centennial Conference Championship

Julia Smith (left) and Lauren Tanel (right)
Julia Smith (left) and Lauren Tanel (right)

Championship Central

Haverford at the Centennial Conference Championships

HAVERFORD, Pa. – Haverford will serve as the host institution for this weekend's Centennial Conference Cross Country Championships. The Fords are serving as hosts for the fourth time since 2012. Women's cross country enters the weekend ranked fifth in the Mideast Region. Four of the top seven teams in the region will line up on the Alumni Cross Country Course this weekend, including Johns Hopkins (No. 1 nationally), Dickinson (No. 6 nationally), and Swarthmore (No. 7 in region).

Haverford has placed first or second at the conference meet in 17 of the first 25 Centennial Championships. The Fords won titles in 1993, 1995, and 1996; while placing third as a team an additional seven times – including last year's race. In years during which Haverford has hosted the conference championship, the team has finished second once (2012) and third on the other two occasions (2014, 16). The Fords have had the conference's individual champion on six occasions, with the most recent champion from Haverford coming during the 2009 season as Emily Lipman '12 emerged victorious.

The Fords have had at least one All-Centennial Conference performer (top 14 individual finishers) during each of the conference's first 25 championship meets. Haverford has averaged just under three all-conference performers per year with 34 first-team honorees and 39 second-team honorees over the first 25 championship races. The Fords have had multiple runners named All-Centennial Conference in 23 of the 25 championship races, including each of the last eight championship meets.

Hannah Doll and Sophie Drew will look to run near the front of the pack for the Fords. Doll has been Haverford's top finisher in every race she entered this season and placed 26th at the conference championships during her rookie season. Drew will be making her third straight appearance in the varsity race for the Fords. She was Haverford's top finisher at the Main Line Invitational. The co-captain's best conference meet came last year when she placed 33rd overall.

First year Izzy Miller and sophomore Griffin Kaulbach are each slated to make their cross country championship debut this fall. Miller has burst onto the scene as the Fords' second or third finisher in every race she has competed in this fall. Kaulbach has also finished second or third this season during four of the five races she entered. Another constant towards the front of the Haverford pack has been sophomore Hannah Yeakey. Yeakey placed 31st at the conference meet last fall. Co-captain Julia Smith will be entering her fourth cross country championship and is also a threat to break into Haverford's top five, doing so during three races and finishing as the team's sixth finisher on the other occasions. Her best finish at the conference meet was a 55th place finish when the championship was last held at Haverford in 2016.

Sophomore Molly Hawkins has been among Haverford's top seven finishers in all but one race this season. She placed 50th during her championship debut last fall. First year Lauren Tanel was among Haverford's top six finishers during the Main Line Invitational, while Angie Petrichenko is looking to make her debut in the championship race this fall after placing seventh for Haverford at the Main Line.

The Fords are allowed to enter 12 runners in the varsity race and first year Natalia Cordon has never been outside of that this season, crossing the line in eighth for the Fords at the Main Line Invitational. Sophomore Amalia Axinn was the team's sixth finisher during the Alumnae Open. Jolie Jaycobs and NCAA qualifier Mckenna Krall bring previous experience in the championship race. Krall placed 36th at the 2017 Centennial Championships, while Jolie Jaycobs was 53rd in her inaugural Centennial Championship.

The women's race is set to go off Saturday at 11 a.m. There will be a live stream of the finish which is available at the top of this page. The men's race will follow at 12 p.m. noon before the Open Race gets underway for both genders at 12:45 p.m. The first through seventh place finishers in each race will earn first-team All-CC accolades, while eighth through 14th place runners will garner second-team status. The 2018 Centennial Conference Championship should also give the Fords a good test heading into the Mideast Regional which is set for Saturday, November 10.