The 2012 CAC Men’s Cross Country Championship meet is to be held Saturday (10/27) at the Maplehurst Country Club in Frostburg, Md., and many wonder if York can defend the title it captured on their home course in a snowstorm in 2011.
Many teams have already competed on the course in Frostburg State’s Sept. 22nd home meet. York won the team title, followed by Salisbury second, Mary Washington third, St. Mary’s fifth, Frostburg State sixth and Marymount seventh.
York won the team championship in the snow on its home course at John Rudy Park in 2012. The Spartans’ 24-point total in last year’s championship outdistanced second-place Mary Washington (46) and Salisbury (66) for the team trophy.
Heading into this year’s title race, York is ranked 10th in the Division III Mideast Region coach’s poll while Mary Washington is ninth in the South/Southeast regional poll.
The Spartan’s Tim Hartung crossed the finish line first in the CAC meet, and two weeks later, was among the top finishers in the NCAA regional chase, earning a trip to the Division III national championships. Steve Childress, who placed second in the championship chase, was selected as the CAC Player of the Year and freshman teammate Aaron Robertson was picked as the CAC Rookie of the Year.
Other runners to watch include Frostburg’s senior Gavin Cauup, Marymount’s freshman Dalton Royal, Mary Washington’s senior Scott Plunkett, Salisbury freshman Kyle Tockman, St. Mary’s Dan Swain and Wesley senior Alex Dello Buono.
Here is a look at each team entering Saturday’s championship:
FROSTBURG STATE will host eight teams this weekend for the CAC Championship meet. The Bobcats will look to use that "home field advantage" as they make a push for the league title. Senior Gavin Caupp has consistently been the team's top finisher and he earned 16th (29:32.60) at the FSU Invitational on the same course earlier this season. Junior Patrick Mead and freshman Josh Biser round out the top three for FSU.
MARYMOUNT looks to put together its best finish in program history at the CAC Championships. Led by the duo of sophomore Tam Nguyen and freshman Dalton Royal, the Saints are back loaded with seniors Emmanuel Wansi and Andrew Nevins as well as juniors Theodore Berry and Kevin Farmer.
MARY WASHINGTON will look to regain the CAC title after several quality races against league foes already this season. Senior Scott Plunkett will look to lead the charge for the Eagles, who have won a league-best 11 conference titles.
SALISBURY has finished in the top eight in each of the team’s five meets so far this season, including two events that featured at least 35 teams. Freshman Kyle Tockman has paced the Gulls this year, as the top finisher in all five races and has been named the CAC Athlete of the Week twice this season. Seniors Chris Sufczynski and Tyler Miluski will be in search of their second career CAC team cross country title.
SOUTHERN VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY men’s cross country team has shown improvement throughout the season as three different Knights set 8K personal records at the Gettysburg Split Squad 8K two weekends ago. Southern Virginia’s best team finish of the year came in late September when the Knights came in second at the Roanoke Invitational 8K trailing only the host school. Sophomore Patrick Gonzales has led the Knights in four of his five races this season.
ST. MARY’S Dan Swain is poised to cause a stir at this year’s CAC championships as Swain’s senior campaign has been the best of his career, notching four top-10 finishes in six meets as he has led St. Mary’s at all regular-season meets this season. He looks to end his career as the first Seahawk men’s cross country runner to earn all-conference honors. Sophomores Tim Carey and David Kersey will provide additional run support as the Seahawks look to break into the top four.
WESLEY’s first-year head coach Stephen Kimes has the team looking to improve on a pair of ninth-place finishes the last two seasons … The Wolverines will look to Alex Dello Buono and Kareem Howard at the top of the lineup while Evan Collotti, Patrick Wittle and Mike Mango are peaking at the right time for the Navy & White.
YORK looks to defend the Capital Athletic Conference title they won in the snow at last year's championship in York. The Spartans are led by junior standout Tim Hartung as he is already a two-time winner this fall. Hartung captured the title at September's Frostburg State Invitational at the site of the 2012 championships. Fellow All-CAC finishers from last year, senior Steven Childress, junior Aaron Robertson and senior Matt Smith, all return as the Spartans attempt to earn their second consecutive title.