The championship portion of the
NCAA season is here! Division III Regional Championships will take place on Friday, the 11th.
Dale Leonard (Ramapo)
Peter LaRochelle (Haverford)
TCNJ - 67 Pts
Haverford - 53 Pts
Women - 12:00 PM
Qualifying - 1 Team and 7 Individuals
The Team Race
Metro Region No.3 Widener (Ranking via USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll) will look to defend its regional title. Widener is coming off a second-place finish at the MAC Championship led by the individual champion, Gabriella Nye. Liz Egan and Kathryn Long are other low sticks the team will need Saturday to compete with top-ranked New Jersey schools, TCNJ and Stockton.
Metro Region No.5 Moravian (Ranking via USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll) should be in the conversation, too. Moravian beat Widener at Paul Short earlier in the season. However, it should be acknowledged that Widener front-runner Nye did not compete, granting Moravian a solid opportunity. At the Osprey Open, Moravian also beat Metro Region No.1 TCNJ and No.2 Stockton (Ranking via USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll). Anything can happen in a race, and Moravian's Rachael Goodman and Tara Smurla can keep their team in it.
Gabriella Nye, the returning Metro Region Champion, is a sure bet for individual qualification if Widener doesn't win or receive an at-large bid. The regional meet will only be Nye's second race of the season, so time will tell if she will be up to the challenge of defending her title in 2022.
Rachael Goodman and Tara Smurla will be in contention for individual qualifying spots if Moravian doesn't win or receive an at-large bid, too.
Micah Gordley (Arcadia) will be in the mix. Gordley beat Nye at the Rowan Interregional Border Battle in October. Her success on the regional course earlier in the season could prove helpful on Saturday.
Top out of State Competition
The team race will likely come down to Metro Region No.1 TCNJ and No.2 Stockton. These closely matched teams finished just one point from each other at the NJAC Championship, TCNJ scoring 50 points and Stockton scoring 51 points, respectively.
TCNJ has sharpened its tools at the right time this season. Expect Naesha Gadie and Cassidy Quinn to lead the charge. As for Stockton, be on the lookout for Jaelyn Barkley and Guinevere Kennedy.
Dale Leonard and Suzanne Zaugg (Ramapo) should both lockdown individual qualifying spots. The duo went 1-2 at the NJAC Championship, with Leonard winning by nearly 25 seconds. Leonard's freshman campaign is heating up, making her look like the favorite for the individual title on Saturday.
Men - 11:00 AM
Qualifying - 1
Team and 7 Individuals
The Team Race
Metro Region No.1 Haverford (Ranking via USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll) is the returning regional championship team. The top-ranked squad is fresh off a Centennial Championship second-place finish in which they lost a respectable battle with nationally ranked John Hopkins by 12 points. Peter LaRochelle and Nathaniel Leighninger finished in the top five, with teammates Seamus Fraser, Luca Ponticello, and Matt Denton finishing in the top 15. Note that LaRochelle is the favorite for the individual title. He is having a solid season, finishing 8th in the Paul Short Brown and 2nd at the Centennial Championship races.
Don't overlook DeSales. They dominantly won the MAC Championship, placing seven men in the top 20. Shane Artis and Matthew Santacoloma led the way for DeSales and will likely do the same on Saturday.
Moravian's Nathan Hajel and Owen Nahf could both earn individual qualifying spots. The duo went 1-2 at the Landmark Championship and have been running well all season.
Keep Swarthmore's Cohen Manges on your radar. Manges is only a freshman but proves he has what it takes to be one of the Metro Region's top runners. This season, he has already beaten some noteworthy competitors, such as Santacoloma, Rowan's Jacob Riley, and Caleb Clevenger.
Top out of State Competition
Metro Region No.2 Rowan and No.3 TCNJ are the top out-of-state teams. Rowan beat TCNJ by just one point at the NJAC Championship. Rowan scored 33 points, and TCNJ scored 34 points, respectively. Note that both squads impressively placed seven men in the top 20.
Rowan's Scott Hubbard, Jacob Riley, and Joshua Cason are some of the Owls battling up front. As for TCNJ, you can expect to see Brandon Chen, Matt Granizo, and Brian Micco.
NJAC Champion Erik Ackerman can earn an individual qualifying spot. He will be on a revenge tour after finishing 26th, just one place out of All-Region recognition, at the Metro Region Championship last season.
2022 Winners - Individuals | Teams
Women: 22:49.4 (6k) - Gabriella Nye (Widener) | Widener
Men: 25:22.5 (8k) - Ryan Kredell (Haverford) | Haverford