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Women Run at Northeast Regionals Seeking Berth at Nationals

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By Tim O'Dowd

HANOVER, N.H. – The Dartmouth women’s cross country team will look to secure a berth in the national championship meet with a strong showing this weekend at the NCAA Northeast Regional.

The Big Green can lock up a spot in Terre Haute, Ind., next weekend if they are able to claim one of the top-two spots Friday afternoon at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. If the team is not one of the top-two, it can still earn an at-large bid to the national championship meet based on a predetermined criteria*. Similar requirements will apply for individual harriers.

The women’s 6K race is set to begin at 1 p.m.  Providence comes into the weekend as the favorite as they are the region’s top-ranked team and No. 2 in the nation after winning the Big East title last week. Many pundits pick Dartmouth to earn one of the two automatic berths as it is second in the Northeast and No. 12 in the latest national poll following the 2013 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship in Princeton on Nov. 2.

Looking to defend her regional titles from the last two seasons is Big Green senior Abbey D'Agostino.

The Topsfield, Mass., native continues to dominate all comers in 2013, winning every race she has lined up in this fall. In 2011, D’Agostino won the Northeast Regional individual crown in Buffalo before taking the title last season in Hammonasset State Park in Madison, Conn., besting a field of more than 250 by running a 19:51.1.

As a team, the Green and White were 10th of 37 programs last season in Connecticut.

D’Agostino’s record-setting performance at Heps was part of a complete team effort as the Big Green dominated with seven top-25 finishes en route to a 38-66 win over second-place Cornell. The team crown was the first at Heps for Dartmouth since 1997, while D’Agostino became the second Big Green harrier ever to win two individual championships, breaking the Ivy League 6K record (19:40.8) as well as establishing a new largest margin of victory (0:39.2) in meet history.

Sophomore Dana Giordano and junior Sarah DeLozier also posted top-10 finishes at Heps, claiming fifth and seventh, respectively. They will be at Van Cortland Park on Friday alongside Sarah Bennett, Bridget End, Alison Lanois, Elizabeth Markowitz and Hannah Rowe, representing Dartmouth.

The Big Green will be seeking its ninth trip in program history to nationals and the first since 2001.

* At-large selection: The process for selection involves a review of regular-season competition and finish at the regional championships. Regional finish is the first criterion, for example, a fourth-place team may not be selected for an at-large berth ahead of a third-place team from the same region. But, a team with a fourth-place finish, for example, could “push” both the third- and fourth-place finishing team into the championships if the fourth-place team has enough “wins” to be the next at-large team. Wins from the regular-season are only counted if squads beat another’s “A” team, defined by having competed four or more individuals in that regular-season meet that competed at the regional championships. Official designations of “A” and “B” teams can only be accomplished after the results of the NCAA regional meets have been completed. Also, only competitions starting September 27 through regional meet weekend are included in the analysis.

Additional Individual Selections: After teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected to compete at the NCAA Championships. From those teams NOT selected in the above process, the top four finishers at each regional are automatically selected (but must have finished within the top 25 of the region).

At-large selection: Two additional athletes will be selected from the remainder of the national pool (and must have finished in the regional top-25) as at-large individuals.