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2005 NCAA Cross Country Regional Recaps: Northeast Region Report
November 12, 2005
by LetsRun.com

The men's race was up first at fabled Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The men's race after the first mile became a two man affair for the individual title as Iona's Richard Kiplagat (who nearly broke the Van Cortlandt Park collegiate course record at the Iona Meet of Champions this year) battled Providence's Martin Fagan (who broke the Van Cortlandt Park collegiate record at the Big East meet) the entire way for the crown.

The two got way clear of the remaining field (the winner finished 52 seconds ahead of 3rd place). Fagan led nearly the entire way with Kiplagat sitting right on him. Heading into the final quarter mile stretch towards the finish Kiplagat pushed ahead and got a slight lead over Fagan. Fagan would pull close to Kiplagat after the final 90 degree turn heading into the final straightaway, but Kiplagat would sprint away from him easily the final stretch for the win in 29:11.2 to Fagan's 29:15.6. The next runners had been in a chase pack of 15-20 runners that slowly got whittled down throughout the race. Dartmouth's Ben True would capture 3rd from this group. Despite True finishing 3rd and this chase pack including 5 Dartmouth runners at one point,  #16 Dartmouth was no match for #21 Iona as they captured the 1st, 4th, 6th, 10th, and 12th places for a convincing victory of 33 to 50 over Dartmouth. Providence, a very solid team that ran at less than full strength for much of the year, was not very far back in 3rd with 67 points, but their lack of success early in the year likely leaves them as one of the teams to miss the Big Dance next week in Terre Haute, IN. LetsRun.com's Robert Johnson's Cornell squad was a convincing 4th. Iona with the win appeared to be much more like the Iona team that was ranked #6 in the country in the preseason polls, than their most recent ranking of #21. (Iona was ranked #11 in the LetsRun.com polls ahead of #15 Dartmouth).

*Full men's results

The women's race was the second collegiate race of the day and featured a few runners expected to be prominent figures at the nationals in Terre Haute, including Caroline Bierbaum of Columbia (3rd last year at nationals), Lindsay Donaldson of Yale (6th last year from Yale), and Fiona Crombie of Providence (10th last year), not to mention American junior record holder at 10k, Lindsey Scherf of Harvard (38th last year).

Scherf took the lead early on, opening a slight advantage over the pack in the first mile. Then, Kaitlyn Gwyther of Quinnipiac, who is having a breakthrough year in 2005, took the lead and opened up a gap on the chasers, until the final quarter mile. The final quarter mile features two ninety degree turns. After the final turn the runners have a little over 100 meters to the finish. Heading around the final turn it was a tightly bunched group with 4 runners (Crombie of Providence, Bierbaum and her teammate Lisa Stublic of Columbia, and Gwyther of Quinnipiac) with a legitimate shot for the win as they were all neck and neck. Just as Stublic surprisingly opened up a slight gap on her teammate Bierbaum, Fiona Crombie shot by like a rocket on the inside by the ropes for an impressive win in 20:27.1 to Stublic's 20:29.1, Bierbaum's 20:29.9 and Gwyther's 20:30.3 while Scherf was barely off the pack in 20:34.7.

The women's team title was just as tight as the individual title for the win as #18 Boston College would pull the upset and edge #8 Columbia 87 to 88 with #13 Providence only 6 points back in 3rd. All 3 are expected to make nationals.

*Full women's results


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