LANCASTER, Pa. - Could another record fall this weekend for the record-setting Johns Hopkins women's cross country team at the Centennial Conference championship?
The Blue Jays, winner of every Centennial title since 2008, are tied with Dickinson for the most Conference championships (10). And the top-ranked team in Division III and defending national champion is poised to break the tie this weekend.
Hopkins is topped the Division III rankings all season and have competed with the best in the country as displayed by a ninth-place finish as the only D3 team at the 41-team Paul Short Invitational.
The Blue Jays captured seven of the top-14 spots from the 2017 CC meet and welcome back six of those runners. Senior Ellie Clawson captured individual honors last season to earn CC Runner of the Year honors, while classmate Natalia LaSpada was right on her heels in second to earn her second first-team All-Conference designation. Sophomore Therese Olshanski finished fifth and received Centennial Rookie of the Year honors, while juniors Lauren Jacob (11th), Kristin Meek (12th) and Allison Rosen (14th) were named second-team All-Conference. Add to the mix 2016 Centennial Runner of the Year Felicia Koerner, who missed last year's meet due to injury, and juniors Samantha Levy and Rebecca Grusby and Hop will be tough to beat.
Hopkins will face a challenge from sixth-ranked Dickinson. The Red Devils have finished second six times and third on four occasions during JHU's title run. Junior Sarah House has led the Red and White this fall, while sophomore Emma Johnston and senior Tessa Cassidy, a second-team All-CC performer a year ago, will also contend for All-CC honors.
Gettysburg senior Sarah Rinehart placed 12th last season and will look to repeat her All-Centennial effort. Others to watch include Bryn Mawr junior Anna Kyle, Franklin & Marshall first-year Alexis Salerno, Haverford sophomore Hannah Doll, McDaniel senior Samantha Merkel, Muhlenberg first-year Abby Dalton, Swarthmore senior Xiaojing Zeng, and Ursinus senior Brittany Gasser.