HARRISONBURG, Va. - The James Madison cross country team will travel to Williamsburg, Va., on Saturday, Oct. 27, to compete in the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Cross Country Championships.
The Dukes are set to begin the six-kilometer course at 10 a.m. at Eastern State Hospital in defense of their back-to-back titles. They will compete against host William & Mary as well as Delaware, George Mason, Hofstra, Northeastern, UNCW and Towson.
JMU is currently ranked 11th in the Southeast Region, according to the latest USTFCCCA regional poll. In the same poll, William & Mary sits at No. 2 regionally and at No. 18 nationally. Delaware is the 11th-ranked squad for the Mid-Atlantic Region.
"We have to put our top three up there with William & Mary's top three, then our fourth and fifth have to come through and run better races than they've been running," head cross country coach Dave Rinker admits. "William & Mary is definitely favored. I think it's just a matter of do we step up and do they give us a crack in their armor. If they do, then we have to take advantage."
Over the course of their season, the Dukes have collected four top-10 finishes as a team, including a first-place victory at their own JMU Open Invitational. They scored a sixth-place finish at the Chili Pepper Invitational out of 43 teams and tied for eighth out of 17 at the Roy Griak Invitational.
Last year, Madison won its second straight CAA cross country title and seventh all-time, and senior Katie Harman (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) captured the individual title and Most Outstanding Performer honors. She will look to defend her title alongside three returning 2011 All-CAA runners; senior Stacey Nobles (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes), senior Katie Gorman (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) and sophomore Kristen Landry (Boonton Township, N.J./Mountain Lakes). Nobles finished third in 2011 while Landry and Gorman took 10th and 12th, respectively.