UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Nittany Lions will play host to the 2012 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships Friday (Nov. 9) at the Blue-White Golf Courses on the University Park campus. The women’s 6,000-meter competition is scheduled to begin at noon, with the men’s 10,000-meter race following at 1:15 p.m. Starting box assignments for both races were announced on Tuesday.
The NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships will serve as a qualifier for the NCAA Cross Country Championships, which are set for Saturday, Nov. 17, at the University of Louisville. The top two finishing teams will automatically advance to the NCAA Finals, while the remaining teams will remain alive for "at-large" bids, which are based on current season performances. The NCAA will awards automatic bids to the first two finishing teams in each of the country’s nine regions. The NCAA committee will then fill the field with an additional 13 at-large bids, for a total of 31 teams on the line in Louisville.
The Mid-Atlantic is in position for outstanding representation at the Championships with three nationally ranked programs toeing the line in the men’s race, and a quartet of ranked teams in the women’s field. The Georgetown women’s squad — the defending NCAA champ — comes in with the highest rating at No. 9 in the latest USTFCCCA rankings. Penn State follows at No. 15 on the women’s side, while Villanova is currently No. 25. Princeton also appears in the "Others Receiving Votes" list in the latest poll.
Princeton looks to the be the favorite on the men’s side at No. 13, while Georgetown stands 24th going into the regional. Villanova also received votes in the most recent rankings.