Women's Cross Country

Cross Country Teams Head To Atlantic 10 Championships This Saturday

Christina Derosa

Christina Derosa

Oct. 27, 2005

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Led by sophomores Nils Fischer (Stow, Mass.) and Christina Derosa (Sound Beach, N.Y.), the men's and women's cross country teams head to Philadelphia this weekend to compete in the Atlantic 10 Cross Country Championships hosted by La Salle at the Belmont Plateau on Saturday, Oct. 29.

Both Fischer and Derosa have led the cross country teams throughout the year as the top runners on each squad. Fischer finished first for the Minutemen in each of the five previous meets this season. Following his 22nd-place finish at the New England Championship Meet (10/8) he was named the ECAC Athlete of the Week, the Atlantic 10 Performer of the Week, and the UMass/Dinn Bros. Athlete of the Week.

Derosa has finished as the top UMass runner in 12 consecutive races for the Minutewomen. As a freshman last season, she finished 12th overall at the conference championship meet.

The 28th annual Men's Cross Country Championship will begin at 10:00am on Belmont Plateau's 8,000-meter course. La Salle seeks to become the first-ever program to win six consecutive A-10 titles after placing seven runners in the top 10 at last year's Championship. Senior John Ciccarelli of Richmond was the 2004 individual champion with a time of 25:30. The Soutbury, CT, resident seeks to become the sixth runner in Conference annals to defend his individual title and first since Todd Witzleben of La Salle (2001-02). Challenging Ciccarelli for the title will be senior John Butler and junior Sean Quigley of La Salle, who finished second and third, respectively, at the 2004 meet. A-10 newcomers Charlotte and Saint Louis will look to seize the title away from the Explorers and will joined in the hunt by Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Washington, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Xavier.

The 17th running of the Women's Cross Country Championship will begin at 10:45am. La Salle claimed its third crown in program history in 2004 as it turned aside 2003 champion Richmond, 35-61. Leading the Explorers is junior Rachel Papin, who posted a winning time of 17:48 at last year's Championship en route to becoming just the second La Salle runner in school history to win the A-10 title, joining two-time champion Sheila Klick (2002-03). Two-time All-Conference selections Nicole Kurtain and Amanda Russell of Richmond seek their first individual A-10 crown, along with Cindy Smith of Rhode Island and Duquesne's Amy Ruffolo, who finished fourth and 10th, respectively, at the 2004 Championship. Three-time 2004 Performer of the Week selection Cassie Ficken leads A-10 newcomer Charlotte, while Saint Louis and Temple will also compete in their first-ever A-10 Cross Country Championships. Dayton, Fordham, George Washington, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph's, and Xavier round out the field. The race is 5,000 meters.

The Atlantic 10 Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships are the first two of 21 championships to be held this year - six of which will take place in the fall. The University of Dayton will be the site of the Atlantic 10 Women's Soccer Championship (Nov. 3-6), while the Field Hockey Championship (Nov. 4-5) will be held at Temple University's Geasey Field. Robert R. Hermann Stadium, on the campus of Saint Louis University, will be the setting for the Men's Soccer Championship (Nov. 10-13), while the Women's Volleyball Championship (Nov. 18-19)at the University of Rhode Island will be the final Championship of the fall sports season.




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