HANOVER, N.H. – When 10 a.m. on Saturday rolls around, it will have been 310 days since the Dartmouth men’s cross country team lined up at the starting line of a race.
That stretch ends with the annual Dartmouth Invitational Saturday morning held at the Hanover Country Club. Lining up against the Big Green men on the 8K course will be teams from Georgetown, Syracuse, Brown, Bentley and Keene State.
For Dartmouth and Herbert and Marge Chase Head Coach for Men’s Track and Cross Country Barry Harwick, Saturday will serve as the perfect way to usher in the new season as his team opens on the comfortable setting of its own home track.
The Big Green are fresh off a 2012 campaign that saw them run to a third-place showing at October’s Heptagonal Championship, a fourth-place finish at the NCAA East Regionals and a victory at the 100th Annual New England Cross Country Championship.
Returning to lead the team this fall is senior Will Geoghegan, who was the top Big Green runner at both Heps (5th) and Regionals (17th). A First-Team All-Ivy performer in 2012 as a relative unknown coming into the season, any success this season for Geoghegan should not come as a surprise.
John Bleday and Steve Mangan also are back after strong campaigns in both cross country and track last year. With another year of experience and fast times to their credit, fans of the Green and White should expect these two to step into the role left by Phil Royer’s graduation last June.
Dylan O’Sullivan, Henry Sterling and Luke Decker are back in the mix as well and will look to continue their upward trends set last fall.
A talented group of incoming student-athletes make of the Class of 2013, a group Harwick and his staff are excited to work with and think will contribute immediately. Those runners include: Nat Adams, Connor Clark, Mac Emery, Julian Heninger, Matt Herzig, Jan Ketterson and Daniel Salas.
At this meet a season ago, Geoghegan finished as the top collegiate runner (second overall) in 24:43.53. However, an impressive team showing by the Syracuse men helped them claim the title with 22 points, while Dartmouth’s 39 earned second place.
Former NCAA National Champion Sam Chelanga will be running in the meet unattached. Chelanga won the 2009 cross country title in a course record time and holds the NCAA record for the 10,000m with a time of 27:08.49.
With Dartmouth earning a preseason ranking of No. 29 and the participation of No. 9 Syracuse and No. 24 Georgetown, the men’s race will feature the largest meeting of ranked teams of any meet in the nation this weekend.
|Men's 8K Cross Country Course at Hanover Country Club.|