HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 28, 2010 - The James Madison cross country team will head to Wilmington, N.C., for Saturday's Colonial Athletic Association Cross Country Championships, being held on the campus of UNC Wilmington.
The women's championship is slated for a 10 a.m. start, while the men's championship follows at 11 a.m. The awards ceremony to close the championship begins at noon.
Last year, William and Mary successfully defended its title for the seventh consecutive year, with the Dukes finishing runner-up for the sixth time in seven championships.
The Dukes, led by senior Alison Parris (Saint Leonard, Md./Patuxent), are a strong contender for the conference crown. JMU has turned in better finishes than W&M in the two meets in which both teams competed this season.
"We are going in as the favorites," head coach Dave Rinker said. "William and Mary is very talented. They have a tremendous freshman group, and it depends on how that freshman group gels, but we are the favorite going in and that is fine."
Four JMU runners finished in the top nine at the 2009 championship, but Parris, a three-time CAA Runner of the Week honoree this season, is the top returning finisher from last year when she placed third.
Other notable runners for the Dukes are sophomore Stacey Nobles (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes), who was fourth last year and earned CAA Rookie of the Year accolades, and sophomores Katie Gorman (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth-Whitemarsh) and Katie Harman (Clarksville, Md./River Hills), who were eighth and ninth, respectively.
Admission to the championship is free for all spectators.