CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – A place in the NCAA Cross Country Championships will be on the line this weekend for the Haverford College women's cross country team as the Fords head to DeSales for the Mideast Regional. Action will get underway with the women's race starting at 11 a.m.
The top two finishing teams on Saturday earn automatic bids to the NCAA Championship which will be hosted in Wisconsin the following week. Individuals among the top seven runners not on the top two teams will also punch their tickets to the NCAA Championship. Sixteen at-large bids for those non-qualifying teams across the eight Division III regionals will be announced on Sunday, November 11.
Teams are limited to just seven individual entrants at the regional meet. Nevertheless, 59 teams participating will certainly make for a crowded field as the Fords look to work their way towards the front of the pack. Haverford enters the weekend as the sixth-ranked team in the region, but appears to be peaking at the right time as the Fords placed third at the Centennial Conference Championships just two weeks ago behind the top two teams in the region. The Fords also defeated Swarthmore for the first time all season during that conference championship.
Hannah Doll has been Haverford's top finisher in each meet she entered this season and is coming off of second-team All-Centennial Conference honors for the first time in her career. Doll placed 43rd at last year's regional and set a new 6,000 meter PR (11:37.6) at the Centennial Conference Championships despite unfavorable weather conditions. Senior captains Sophie Drew (22:59.6) and Julia Smith (23:46.1) also set personal best times at the conference meet. Drew placed 46th at last year's Mideast Regional Championships while Smith will be making her first appearance on this stage.
Mckenna Krall also brings regional experience to the Fords as she placed 87th last year. She ran her best race of the season during the conference meet as the Fords' fifth finisher and has a career-best 6K time of 23:50.4 which she set at the 2017 NCAA Championships. Griffin Kaulbach was Haverford's fourth finisher at the Centennial Conference Championships. The sophomore will be joined by classmate Jolie Jaycobs, who is coming off of a personal best time of 24:15.9 at the conference meet. First year Izzy Miller has constantly been among the Fords' top five and is slated to make her regional debut. Classmate Lauren Tanel, who is coming off her best time of the season (24:20.3), will be the Fords' alternate to the field.
The Fords have constantly ranked among the best in the region over the program's history. The team placed third last season. Haverford has finished second at regionals and earned an automatic bid to the national championship on six occasions, finishing third during eight other years. The team has placed among the top four squads in 20 of the past 25 years.
Haverford has made 17 appearances at the NCAA Division III Championships as a team and sent individuals to compete on nine other occasions. The Fords have made it to the NCAA Championships during eight of the last nine seasons overall. In addition to the team accomplishments that are up for grabs, the top 35 runners in the field will each earn All-Mideast Region recognition. Haverford runners have combined for 95 all-region performances in program history.