LHU set to host 2013 NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Men's & Women's Cross Country Championships

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – Lock Haven University is set to host the 2013 NCAA Division II Atlantic Region Men's & Women's Cross Country Championships on Saturday (Nov. 9).

Both the LHU men's and women's teams will be in action on Saturday at the West Branch Cross Country Course.

Setting the stage –

The women's 6K race on Saturday is set to start at 11 a.m., with the men's 10K race to follow at noon.

This marks the second straight year, where LHU has had the privilege of hosting the regional meet. The flat course is known for its fast time come championship time and it is also fan favorite as the runners make several loops around the complex, giving spectators plenty of opportunities to view the action.

On the women's side, 25 teams will be in action, while 21 men's teams from the region will compete for the Atlantic Region title.

The NCAA Division II Atlantic Region is made up of teams from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC), the newly formed Mountain East Conference (MEC) and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

Women's Championship -

Saturday's women's team-race should be a thriller.

Mansfield enters as the No. 1 ranked team in the region and the Mountaineers are coming off their first-ever PSAC title.

Edinboro and Shippensburg, both perennial national powers will be looking to push Mansfield.

Mansfield, Edinboro and Shippensburg are all ranked among the top-16 in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings.

No. 21 IUP and Seton Hill will also look to be among the pack of top teams. West Virginia Wesleyan can't be counted out after a very strong MEC meet where the Bobcats swept the top-three spots.

On the women's side, the top-four teams qualify for the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23 at Plants Ferry Athletic Complex in Spokane, Wash.

The women's individual race should also be a fun one to watch with 2013 PSAC champion Victoria Davis of Bloomsburg leading the way. Davis was second at the region meet last year and is the top-returner.

The region's top-three performers from a year ago went 1-2-3 at this year's PSAC Championships. Finishing behind Davis two weeks ago at Kutztown was Sarah Krolick (Edinboro) and Jessica Scordino (Mansfield).

Fifteen of 25 All-Region runners were underclassmen last year, so the women's field is loaded with talent. IUP's 1-2 punch of Rachel Magliane and Samantha Thompson turned in strong showings at the PSAC championships.

The Lady Eagles -

The Lock Haven women's team is sending a strong contingent of runners to the line on Saturday. Leading the way for the Lady Eagles is senior Jessica McDonald, who been their leader much of the year. Joining McDonald is Corina Robbins and Erin Craig, who both turned in strong outings at the conference championship.

Robbins was an All-Region performer in 2011, when the Lady Eagles were second, their best finish ever.

Also set to compete for Lock Haven is Ashley Daniels, Katie Kravitz, Sierra Pena, Courtney Schobel, Elena Shields and Emiley Stapleton.

Men's Championship -

Two of the nation's best will battle it out for the men's title on Saturday as rivals Lock Haven and Edinboro square off for the region's top honors. No. 8 Lock Haven beat No. 14 Edinboro by 35 points two weeks ago at the PSAC Championships.

Up until last week, Edinboro held the region's top-ranking all season long.

No. 19 Shippensburg can't be over looked as the Red Raiders always perform on the biggest stage.

California and Slippery Rock are also both ranked among the region's top-five teams. Wheeling Jesuit, the region's eighth ranked team won the Mountain East title after sweeping top-three spots.

The top-three men's team earns trips to the NCAA Championship.

Lock Haven's Alex Monroe will toe the line on Saturday looking for his third straight individual crown. He knows it won' be an easy task with the talented field surrounding him.

Pushing Monroe, will be California's (Pa.) Aaron Dinzeo, who was second at the PSAC championships.

Fourteen All-Region runners were underclassmen last year, including five Edinboro runners, who finished in the top-25 last season. Matt Link was the top-finisher (sixth) for the Fighting Scots at the PSAC meet.

Also looking to be a factor in the men's individual race is Shippensburg's Brayden Burleigh (3rd at PSAC's) and Kutztown's Zach Fleming (5th at PSAC's). Fleming was 37th last year at the regional championships.

Wheeling Jesuit's Luke Holubeck earned All-Region status last year after finishing 25th and he's coming off a win at the MEC meet. Kyle Edwards of Lincoln was fourth at the CIAA meet and could be a factor among the lead pack this weekend.

The Bald Eagles –

The Haven men are looking for their first region title since 2010 and sixth overall. Monroe, Lock Haven's first three-time PSAC champ and first three-time All-American is looking to help the Bald Eagles get the job done.

Sophomore Dylan Mountain joins Monroe as a returning All-Region runner. Mountain was fourth at the PSAC meet and is in fine form.

Ben Robinson, Korey Replogle and Matt Guiod are looking to build off All-Conference performances.

Lock Haven's Alex Diltz, Vince Fadale, Tyler Hileman and Seth Robbins are looking to make their mark on the course come Saturday.

Follow all the action live on Saturday via Twitter @HavenAthletics. Following the completion of both races, full results will be posted at www.GoLHU.com

Atlantic Region Championship Central