HAVERFORD, Pa – The Haverford Men's Cross Country team heads to Louisville, Ky. for the NCAA Division III Championship race on Saturday afternoon. The race, which will take place at Tom Sawyer Park, represents the 44th men's national championship and will feature 280 competitors from 77 Division III institutions. The participants include 32 teams selected to send seven-member teams and 56 individuals, who qualified by virtue of being the first seven student-athletes from each region who are not from a qualifying team.
Haverford has now qualified for the national championship meet for the 24th straight season after a second place finish in the Mideast Regional at DeSales on Saturday, November 12. The Fords were only outlasted by Centennial Conference foe Johns Hopkins, who took the regional crown to earn the other automatic qualifier into the NCAA meet.
The Fords scored 65 points, just one place behind the Blue Jays. Haverford finished with an average time of 25:23, a second faster than the 25:24 of Johns Hopkins. The Fords spread of 39 seconds was ten seconds longer than Hopkins 29 second spread.
Haverford is ranked No. 14 in the USTFCCAA Poll going into the national championships this season. The Fords have finished no lower than 23rd in the national championship race in a dynastic stretch of conference and regional dominance. Additionally, the Fords have finished in the top five on six occasions, including the 2010 National Championship under USTFCCAA Hall of Fame head Coach Tom Donnelly, who was again named the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year by a vote of his peers earlier this month.
If the Fords enter the same seven runners from the NCAA Regionals, Haverford will benefit from experience as Jimmy Gorman will participate in his fourth-straight NCAA Championship. Gorman is slated to join an esteemed list of Fords that includes Karl Paranya and Seamus McElligott among others in achieving the feat.
Graham Peet and Henry Woods join Gorman as repeat entries from last season's 12th place finish at the national meet. Peet, in just his sophomore campaign, is also on track for four-straight NCAA appearances. Woods finished third at the Mideast Regional, taking down most of a stacked field in 25:05 time to earn All-Mideast Region honors in his junior campaign. Woods has been the top finisher for the Fords in each meet he has been entered in this fall.
Ryan Herlihy, Greg Morgan, Peet and Morgan were all-named All-Mideast Region following successful performances and top-35 finishes at DeSales. James Stadler (37th) and Charlie Hale (46th) narrowly missed the honor to round out the seven for the Fords.
As a team, Haverford proved its mettle against competition from throughout much of the area this season with a sixth place showing at the Paul Short Invitational and a fourth-place finish at the Rowan Inter-Region Border Battle.
The men's 8K race will begin at noon at Tom Sawyer Park, following the women's race which begins at 11:00 a.m. Haverford is one of just 17 schools in Division III that is sending its full men's and women's teams to the national championship. Live video of the race as well as live timing and results will be available courtesy of NCAA.com.