BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Haverford College women's cross country team will race for a spot in the NCAA Championships this weekend. Muhlenberg will serve as the host institution for the 2019 Mideast Regional which will be held at Lehigh University. The Fords have already had success on that course as they won the White Race at the Paul Short Invitational earlier in October. With it being an odd-numbered year, the women's race will go off at 12 p.m. while the men will begin the day with an 11 a.m. start.
The top two finishing teams on Saturday earn automatic bids to the NCAA Championship which will be hosted in Louisville, Kentucky 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 17 at 1 p.m. via an online press release.
Teams can declare up to 10 individuals who are eligible to compete but they are limited to seven entrants into Saturday's race. A total of 61 teams have declared their intent to run this weekend as 367 runners will toe the starting line on Saturday. After a fourth-place team finish at the Centennial Conference Championship, the Fords are ranked sixth in the region. Johns Hopkins, Dickinson, Carnegie Mellon, Messiah, and Swarthmore fill the current top five.
Two-time NCAA qualifier Hannah Doll advanced to the NCAA Championship meet after her 16th place finish at the regional meet a year ago. She nearly broke the 23-minute mark at Paul Short earlier this season and will be looking for her third trip to the national championship in as many seasons. Griffin Kaulbach did break the 23-minute mark at Paul Short for a career PR earlier this year and appears poised to improve on her 52nd place finish from a season ago. Izzy Miller led the Fords to the finish line at the Centennial Conference Championships and will make her second straight regional appearance after a 76th place finish as a first-year.
First-year Sheena Dwyer-McNulty, sophomore Natalia Cordon, junior Amalia Axinn, and junior Angie Petrichenko are all slated to make their regional debuts this Saturday. Dwyer-McNulty, Axinn, and Petrichenko all ran career PRs during the team's win at the Paul Short Invitational while Cordon is coming off of her career best time at the 2019 Centennial Conference Championship. First-year Cate Tomson, along with seniors Jolie Jaycobs and Mckenna Krall, are slated as alternates who are eligible for the race but not part of the planned seven entries. Both Krall and Jaycobs have previously competed at the regional championships.
Haverford placed fourth as a team at the 2018 Mideast Regional Championships and has been historically one of the strongest teams in the region. The Fords have 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 21 of the past 26 years.
Women's cross country has made 17 team appearances at the NCAA Division III Championship and sent individuals to compete on 10 other occasions. 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 97 all-region performances in program history.