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Cross Country Squads Post Successful Opening Weekend

Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino
Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino

PRINCETON, N.J. -- The 2012 Ivy League cross country season got underway in grand fashion last weekend, as the schools combined for eight titles, three second-place finishes and one fourth-place finish.

Columbia, Cornell and Yale led the way by sweeping their respective events. For the third-straight year, the Lions men’s and women’s squads both placed first in the Vermont Invitational. The men’s team featured 13 of the top 15 finishers, including the top five. Senior Leighton Spencer won the individual title with a time of 24:50.2. On the women’s side, sophomore Waverly Neer and senior Erin Gillingham went 1-2 as five of the top-seven were from Columbia.

Cornell senior Katie Kellner placed first in the Army Tri-Meet to lead her team to a win over the Black Knights and Binghamton, while Ben Potts and Adam Trofa went 1-2 as the men’s squad also won the team title. The Yale men and women swept the Fordham Fiasco with a pair of individual winners in sophomore Matthew Nussbaum and junior Millie Chapman.

Harvard and Brown each opened their seasons at the Nassaney Invitational at Bryant University, although the Crimson men’s team did not race. The women did, however, and raced well, winning the title with three runners in the top five. Senior Brianna Jackucewicz won the individual race with a time of 18:00.1, more than five seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. The Brown women placed fourth in the event; senior Elaine Kuckertz placed 10th to lead the Bears. Although the Brown men only sent four to the Nassaney Invitational, they all placed among the top-20 out of 125 runners, led by senior Ben Stephenson (ninth).

The last time fans saw Dartmouth junior Abbey D’Agostino, she was placing fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 3,000m. The defending Ivy League cross country individual champion took first at the Dartmouth Invitational to lead her squad to a second-place finish against some tough competition, including two teams ranked in the top-10 nationally in No. 3 Georgetown and No. 9 Syracuse. The Hoyas placed first, while the Orange came in third. Not to be outdone, the Big Green men’s team also placed second, as junior Will Geoghegan was the first collegiate runner to cross the line with a time of 24:50.10.

Penn took on cross-town rival La Salle, the preseason Atlantic 10 favorite on both the men’s and women’s sides. The Quakers men were led by freshman Thomas Awad, who placed fifth. For the women, Penn had eight of the first 11 across the finish line, led by senior Leslie Kovach, who took second with a time of 14:41 in the 4K race.

Rounding out the competition from last weekend, Princeton ran in the Spiked Shoe Invitational hosted by Penn State. Facing tough competition, the men’s team placed first and the women’s squad came in second. Four Tiger men placed among the top-five, led by the individual champion, junior Alejandro Arroyo Yamin. The women were led by sophomore Emily de La Bruyere, who came in fifth.

Complete USTFCCCA Polls
In the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national men’s poll, Princeton is ranked No. 15 on the men’s side, with Columbia coming in at No. 28, while on the women’s side Princeton is No. 28 and Dartmouth and Cornell are each receiving votes. The next set of rankings will be released on Sept. 18.

Men: Bears Compete At Nassaney Invitational
Women: Bears Compete At Nassaney Invitational

Men: Cross Country Wins Vermont Invitational To Open Season
Women: Cross Country Wins Vermont Invitational To Open Season

Men: Men's Cross Country Claims Big Win In Season Opener
Women: Women's Cross Country Nabs Season-Opening Win vs. Army, Binghamton

Men: Will Geoghegan Leads Big Green Men At Dartmouth Invitational
Women: Abbey D'Agostino Runs Away From Field At Dartmouth Invitational

Women: Women's Cross Country Opens Season With Win At Nassaney Invitational

Men: Men's Cross Country Faces Down La Salle In Opener
Women: Women's Cross Country Makes Statement In Opener

Men: Yamin And Men's XC Win Spiked Shoe Invite
Women: de La Bruyere Leads Women's XC To Second-Place Opening Meet

Men: Bulldogs Open Season In Grand Fashion At Fordham
Women: Bulldogs Claim Eight Of Top 11 SPots, Win Fordham Fiasco