Terps Ready for ACC Championships
Oct. 26, 2011
Twitter Hash Tag: #ACCXC
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The women come in with a strong 1-2 punch, while the men have found that success comes in running in a pack. Those are the scenarios for the University of Maryland for this Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference Cross Country Championships to be hosted by Clemson.
The men's 8-kilometer race will be at 10 a.m., with the women going 6K starting at 11 a.m. on the Musser Farms Course.
The Terrapins come into this weekend's league championships fresh from team victories at the Blue & Gold Invitational at Delaware on Oct. 15. Both the men and women had strong efforts that have their confidence high going into the ACCs.
"Over the past few weeks, the team has been fine-tuning as they prepare to peak for the ACC Championships," said head coach Andrew Valmon. "The ACC is a very competitive conference and I am looking forward to seeing our athletes step up to compete at a high level.
"The goal this time of year is to put everything together to achieve the results we have been working toward. The fuel has been put in the tank at this point, and now it is time to compete."
The Maryland women have been led for the last month by junior Julie Fricke and senior Ashley Cromartie. That duo finished 1-2 at Delaware and was 80 seconds ahead of anyone else in the field. They also finished first and second on the team at last year's ACC Championships.
"On the women's side, Julie has looked solid and still has a lot of running left in her this season," said Valmon. "Ashley, Myah Hicks and Anna Roth have also been stepping up this season and should be able to make solid impressions on the competition."
A freshman, Hicks had two finishes in the top 11 in her first two collegiate meets, while Roth has had outstanding cuts in time over familiar courses early in the season.
For the men, Maryland truly has been seeing a team effort. In three of four meets this season, the first-to-fifth time split has been 44 seconds or less. Four different Terrapins have led their team to the line in the four meets so far this season, giving Maryland a balanced, team-oriented look heading into the league meet.
Neeman, a transfer student from Israel, ran in the Terps' No. 2 spot in the last two races, while Punyua, a freshman who is a Kenyan product, finished second overall at Delaware in leading the Terrapins to the line.
The Terrapins finished eighth on the men's side and 10th in the women's race a year ago.
"We will need five solid performances from both genders this weekend," said Valmon. "For the women, it's important that the group competes knowing that each place finish will play an important role in our overall performance.
"The men have worked in a tight pack this season. We will be looking for the pack to move up together and run with confidence."
Florida State enters the ACC Championship as the highest-ranked team in the national rankings at 18th, while NC State is 19th and North Carolina is 30th.
The women's race will feature five schools ranked in the USTFCCCA Top 30, with Florida State in the top spot in the nation. The Seminoles are followed by Virginia 17th, NC State 21st, North Carolina 22nd and Boston College 24th.
- Terps -