2019 Season Preview
The Haverford College women's cross country team has established a tradition of improving its runners throughout their careers and peaking when the postseason comes around. The Fords did just that a season ago and will look to continue that trend in 2019. Haverford is predicted for another NCAA Championship appearance this fall as the Fords come into the year ranked 30th in the USTFCCCA Preseason Poll.
Haverford has qualified for the NCAA Championships as a team during three of the last four seasons and 13 times in the last 17 years. The Fords, ranked fourth in the Mideast Region, have finished first or second at the Centennial Conference Championship meet 17 times in the 26 year history of the conference, taking home the conference crown in 1993, 1995, and 1996. The team has finished outside of the top three just once.
The Fords return plenty of experience coming back to help the team fall, highlighted by NCAA qualifier Hannah Doll. Doll has qualified for the NCAA Championships during each of her first two seasons and placed 141st at last year's national championship. She earned second-team All-Centennial Conference and All-Mideast Region honors before qualifying to the NCAA meet as an individual.
In total, Haverford returns 10 of its 12 runners who competed in the Centennial Conference Championship varsity race last fall where the Fords placed third overall. Griffin Kaulbach, Izzy Miller, and Mckenna Krall were top five finishers for the Fords during the postseason in 2018. Entering her senior season, Krall is already an NCAA qualifier from her appearance during the team's qualification in 2017. Kaulbach, a junior, has a personal-best 6K time of 23:46 which she set a year ago while Miller ran 23:27 at the Paul Short for a career best during her rookie campaign. Hannah Yeakey has also broken the 24-minute mark at the 6K distance and competed at the 2017 NCAA Championships.
The Fords also have a number of runners returning who have broken the 25-minute mark and will look to further improve on those times this season. Leading that contingent is co-captain Jolie Jaycobs who ran on the seven-member team which placed fourth at regionals last fall. Also returning with Centennial Conference Championship experience under their belts are juniors Molly Hawkins and Angie Petrichenko, along with sophomores Natalia Cordon and Lauren Tanel. Senior co-captain Zoe Arditi and junior Amalia Axinn have just missed breaking the 25-minute mark this year and will look to do so this fall after abbreviated cross country seasons cut those attempts short just a season ago.
Seniors Michelle Luu and Mariana Ramirez have both broken the 26-minute mark previously and will join sophomore Sophie Schleifer in pursuit of even faster times this coming fall. Annie Connolly-Sporing will enter the 2019 season with momentum as she ran her personal best time during the open race at the Centennial Conference Championships in 2018 while Maggie Doubman and Marly Banatte return after strong track & field seasons despite being limited in cross country last fall.
Incoming first-years joining the Fords this fall are Rhea Chandran, Sheena Dwyer-McNulty, Natalie Hickerson, Ellie Keating, Kristen Min, Cate Tomson, Eva White, and Annemarie Wood. Those eight first-years make that class the largest on the team this season. That class is already off to a strong start as it defeated Widener in the opening meet of the season as Dwyer-McNulty was the overall race winner while Keating also finished in the top three.
In addition to the Haverford Open, which only the first-year class participated in to start the 2019 season, Haverford will run three more races on the Alumni Cross Country course throughout the fall schedule. Those home meets are the Alumnae Open (Sept. 7), prestigious Main Line Invitational (Sept. 20), and the Haverford Invitational (Oct. 25).