FAIRFAX, Va. – After a fall season of training and racing, the George Mason cross country team begins the championship slate of their schedule on Saturday, November 2 when they return to Mechanicsville, Va. for their inaugural Atlantic 10 Conference Championships.
Racing will be hosted by the University of Richmond’s Pole Green Park, a course that Mason has raced on earlier in the season at the Spider Alumni Open. The men’s 8k race will begin at 10 a.m. followed by the women’s 5k race at 10:50. The All-Conference team will be named after racing is completed and will consist of the top-15 finishers in each race. The Most Outstanding Rookie award will be given to the highest placing freshman in each race.
Atlantic 10 preseason favorite La Salle will look to capture their second conference championship in three years in the men’s race, and their eighth title overall in the past thirteen seasons. Mason was ranked tied for third in the conference in the beginning of the season and looks to pose as a threat to the Explorers. The men most recently placed third overall out of 28 teams at the Blue Ridge Open in Boone, N.C.
Competing in the 8k is an upper-class laden group, consisting of seniors Michael Conway, John Holt, Wil McReynolds, Craig Morgan, Sean Nestor and Alex Ott. Transfer student Steven Flynn will also look to use his previous experience in the A-10 to help the Patriots to a strong finish.
Mason’s women were a seventh place preseason pick and aim to better that prediction in Saturday’s 5k. Junior Bethany Sachtleben and sophomore Jennifer Nakamura look to once again be top finishers for Mason along with freshman Meghan Blackstone, Lauren Givens and Peyton Lowe. Host Richmond will try to live up to their proclamation as the conference’s preseason favorite along with a strong Duquesne team that will be vying for the title of conference champion.
With Conference Championships a day away, below is a recap of Mason's 2013 season:
Spider Alumni Open: The men placed 5th as a in the 5k event at Pole Green Park, the site of Saturday's A-10 Championships and the women placed fourth in a two-mile race. Sean Nestor was the top finisher for the men in a time of 15:43.9 and Jennifer Nakamura finished first for the women in 11:23.1.
Virginia Invitational: John Holt was first to cross in the men's 8k with a time of 24:42.1, 41st out of 102 runners. Bethany Sachtleben competed in first race of the season, finishing 27th out of 117 competitors in a 5k time of 17:48.4. The men finished 11th overal and the women 14th.
Mason Invitational: Both the men and women took first in the events, as a team and individually. Wil McReynolds was the first collegiate finisher in the 8k with a time of 27:20 and Sachtleben cruised in the 6k, winning with a time of 22:36.
Blue Ridge Open: The men finish 3rd out of 28 teams and the women finish 6th out of 27. Michael Conway and Sachtleben are top finishers for Mason in the 8k and 5k, crossing the line in 24:54.2 and 18:09.9, respectively. Conway finshed eighth out of 229 runners and Sachtleben fifth out of 216.
All of the action on Saturday can be followed at the Atlantic 10’s 2013 Cross Country Championship Central page here. In addition live video will be streamed during the event and live results will be updated throughout the morning.
Championship Central – Click Here
Live Results – Click Here
Live Video Stream – Click Here