HAVERFORD, Pa. – The third-ranked Haverford College men's cross country team heads to Gettysburg College poised and looking to capture a fourth-straight Centennial Conference Championship on Sunday morning (11 a.m.) Taking the conference crown would represent a 22nd title in the last 25 seasons, as the Fords have historically dominated the conference championship meet. Dickinson (2008, 2009) and Johns Hopkins (2013) are the only other teams to win the team title with Haverford never finishing lower than third in the championship race.
Johns Hopkins is currently the only other nationally ranked team in the Centennial Conference, checking in at No. 14 in the latest USTFCCCA poll release.
Last season, the Fords team took home the Centennial Conference Championship for the 21st time in 24 seasons, claiming victory by outlasting Johns Hopkins by just nine points. The Blue Jays scored 43, but it was the Fords who again prevailed in the title race. Then-junior Henry Woods led the Haverford harriers, finishing second overall in the 8K race, which the Fords hosted on the Haverford campus. Woods was later named an All-American by virtue of his 22nd place finish at the National Championships in 2016.
This year, the Fords have excelled as the top Division III entrant at each race the team has contested this season. Haverford was last in action at the Inter-Regional Border Battle on the campus of Rowan University on Saturday, October 14. Woods crossed the finish line in a time of 24:52.8, placing second overall as the Fords put three runners in front of No. 16 Carnegie Mellon's first finisher to easily capture the team title by a 29-62 margin. The meet solidified Haverford's prowess and propelled the Fords to the third spot in the national landscape.
Haverford was also the top Division III finisher at the prestigious Paul Short Run in late September, displacing national contenders Amherst, Christopher Newport and Williams along with Division I programs such as American, Villanova and Lehigh. Dylan Gearinger, Graham Peet, Ryan Herlihy and Greg Morgan have grown into a formidable junior class that figures to factor into the scoring for the Fords on Sunday. Sophomore Sam McCalpin and seniors James Stadler, Matt Willig and Marcelo Jauregui-Volpe have all turned in solid times in 2017 with a potential to score for the Fords.
Rainy conditions are expected for most of Pennsylvania on Sunday, and the conditions could prove a challenge in navigating the Gettysburg course. Gettysburg last hosted the conference championships in 2009, as Dickinson captured its second of back-to-back crowns.
The men's race will take place at 11:00 a.m. with results available via Motion Timing. Fans are encouraged to follow the action via @CentennialConf on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Additional live coverage will be available on the Centennial Conference Facebook page and a digital program link will be made available via the Centennial Conference championship central microsite.
Following the conference race, the Fords will participate in the NCAA Mideast Regional in Newville, Pa. as Dickinson will play host to the regional race on Saturday, November 11. The NCAA Division III Championship is slated for Saturday, November 18 in Elsah, Ill. on the campus of Principia College.