2012 W&J Men’s & Women’s Cross Country Season Preview
The Washington & Jefferson College cross country squads sent runners to the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Championships for the first time in history in 2011 and hope to repeat the feat during the 2012 season.
Senior Scott Ryan posted the top 8K time in school history in the championship race in Oshkosh, Wisc., with a time of 25:45.20. A three-time, All-PAC First Teamer, Ryan has finished as the runner-up in the last two PAC Championships. He raced to two individual titles at the Pitt-Greensburg and Waynesburg Invitationals and was named PAC Runner of the Week on three occasions. During his career, Ryan has claimed first-place finishes at three collegiate and is a nine-time PAC Runner of the Week.
Joining Ryan on second-year Head Coach Shawn Marek’s men’s squad are eight returners. Senior Benjamin Kopchick will look to improve on a career-best mark of 27:23.00 set last season at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational and a 30th-place showing at the PAC Championships. Kopchick finished in the top two among Presidents’ runners at all seven races. Also returning to the team are juniors Anthony Bocchine, Ronald Graf, Bradley Hanne, and Alexander Mey along with sophomores Joshua Makepeace, Thomas Marcotte and Corey Young.
Sophomore Kristen Galligan burst on to the scene as a rookie to lead W&J’s women’s runners. Galligan finished in 179th place at the national championship race after running a time of 22:48.62 on the 277-runner, 6K course, just under two minutes behind the national champion. She was named to the All-PAC First Team after placing second at the conference championship race. Galligan finished first at the Pitt-Greensburg Invitational and posted five runner-up finishes while being selected as the PAC Runner of the Week two times last fall.
The Presidents only other returner is junior Haley Roberts. Roberts raced her top time last year at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational 5K (26:11.46). Joining Galligan and Roberts will be a solid group of eight freshmen.
The W&J cross country teams open the season at the Waynesburg Invitational on September 8 (10:00 am). The Presidents are hoping that Galligan and Ryan can lead the programs to the first PAC team championships in school history.