WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Lancaster, Pa., to compete in the 2016 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Cross Country Championships hosted by Lancaster Bible College this Saturday, Oct. 29., at 10 a.m.
The men's event this year will feature 12 NEAC schools including Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Penn College, Penn St.-Abington, Penn St.-Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State College, SUNY Poly, and Wells College. Gallaudet's men's team is led by junior John Isaacson (Clive, Iowa) and freshman Dalton Attanasi (Hammonton, N.J.). Isaacson has been the Bison's top finisher in the last four races and Attanasi has been the Bison's second-place finisher in the last three races and in GU's top five in all but one of the meets this year. GU took fourth place in last year's NEAC Championships with 103 team points.
The women's event will also include 12 NEAC schools; Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Penn College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State College, SUNY Poly, and Wells College. The Bison women's team is led by senior Kristi Luna (Austin, Texas) and freshman Fatuma Ali (Tuscon, Ariz.). Luna has been the top finisher for the Bison in all of the regular-season meets while Ali has been the second-place finisher in all but one race. Last year, the Bison finished in ninth place with 269 points.
"Having the last week off has given us the opportunity to train hard last week and taper off this week," said head coach Byron Moore. "The team will have a full rest day tomorrow in hopes of having the best opportunity to do well in the championship meet."
The women's six-kilometer (3.7 miles) race will begin at 10 a.m. followed by the men's eight-kilometer (4.96 miles) race that will begin at 11 a.m. Admission is free and an awards ceremony will be held at the Olewine Dining Commons afterwards.
The SUNY Poly men's team won its third straight NEAC championship last year as they edged out SUNY Cobleskill by one point, 64-65. The SUNY Cobleskill women's cross country team took home their seventh straight NEAC championship last year with 41 points.
The top five finishers for each squad will count towards their team's total tally, with the best overall team score from each race then taking home the championship. The first-place finisher of each race will be named the conference's runner of the year, while the top 21 runners from each race will be named to the NEAC all-conference teams; (first team: 1st-7th, second team: 8th-14th; third team: 15th-21st). The NEAC cross country head coaches will vote on the NEAC Coach of the Year after the meet is over.