TOWSON, Md. – The Landmark Conference championship season will officially kick off on Saturday, November 2, when the 2019 Cross Country Championships will be held at Colmar Manor Community Park in Colmar Manor, Md.
Catholic University will serve as the official host of the meet in which the men’s and women’s team champions will be crowned, along with individual champions in both races. Competition will begin with the men’s 8K race at 10 a.m., followed by the women’s 6K run at 11 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow the women’s race, at approximately 12:15 p.m.
Defending champion Elizabethtown College enters the meet as the favorite to reclaim its men’s team title. The Blue Jays have enjoyed several strong performances over the year, including three top-10 finishes. Juniata College was the runner-up by just one point a year ago and with a strong mix of veterans and youth on the roster, should be in the mix again. At the preview meet in September, the Eagles claimed the top spot. Moravian College has also enjoyed a solid season. The Greyhounds posted its best finish at the Elizabethtown Short Course Invitational, placing second of 10 teams. Placing third a year ago, the Hounds could be poised to challenge for the top spot. Preseason number-four pick Susquehanna University features an experienced lineup capable of competing for a top position.
Host Catholic University has placed in the top-10 in three different races this season. The Cardinals have just two seniors on the roster in Joseph LaPointe and Cosmo Pirozzi, with the rest of the squad being comprised of three sophomores and 10 freshmen. Drew University has two experienced championship runners in Michael Kitsopoulos and Neelesh Kantheti. The duo, along with freshman Van Holson will compete for a top-14 spot on Saturday. Goucher College has a nice mix of experienced runners and newcomers to help push the Gophers to a strong finish at this weekend’s race. The Gophers have five upperclassman and three underclassmen on their roster.
The women’s team competition also projects to be highly competitive, as several teams have posted strong performances throughout the season. The addition of some talented freshmen, along with two all-conference performers from a year ago, should help Elizabethtown College claim its sixth straight title. Challenging the Blue Jays will be Catholic University and Moravian College. The Cardinals had a strong showing at the Landmark Preview Meet back in September while the Greyhounds return reigning Performer of the Year Natalie Novotni and Rookie of the Year, Natalie Stabilito.
Juniata College, led by senior Azia Kalil and University of Scranton are both enjoying strong seasons, and will certainly be contenders for the top few positions. A two-time Landmark All-Conference selection, Susquehanna’s senior Erin Reese is poised to take a top-seven finish for the River Hawks. Reese is coming off a personal-best 6K race, running a 22:18.30 at the Rowan Inter-Regional Border Battle. Drew University and Goucher College added depth to their rosters for 2019 and will be expected to make a strong run in the championships.
The Landmark Cross Country Championships will be the first of six fall sports that will crown Landmark champions in the coming weeks. Landmark postseason play will begin with semifinals on Tuesday Nov. 5, with Championships following on Saturday Nov. 9.