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2012 Cross Country #CAAChamps Women’s Preview

Oct 25, 2012, 2:22 PM EDT

The 2012 CAA Cross Country Championships will be hosted by the College of William & Mary at Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Va. on Saturday, October 27. The women’s six-kilometer race is set to begin at 10:00 a.m. with the men’s eight-kilometer event to follow at 11:00 a.m. The awards ceremony will conclude the championships at 12:00 p.m. Admission to the event is free, and directions to the course are listed below.

Eight teams will by vying for the 2012 CAA Women’s Championship on the 6K course at Eastern State.  James Madison will be looking to win its third straight title and eighth overall.

JMU opened the season with a victory at its own JMU Open Invitational. The Dukes are ranked No. 11 in the USTFCCCA Southeast Region rankings and also collected top-10 finishes at the Roy Griak Invitational and the Chili Pepper Invitational.  JMU will feature reigning CAA Athlete of the Year and 2011 individual champion Katie Harman as well as other top ten finishers Stacey Nobles (3rd) and Kristen Landry (10th). Senior Katie Gorman was the Dukes’ top finisher in their most recent outing.

William & Mary will enter the race as the favorite to win its 18th CAA title after ranking No. 18 in the latest USTFCCA National Poll as well as No. 2 in the Southeast Region rankings. The Tribe has had strong showings in national meets this season, finishing second in the Paul Short Invitational and sixth in the Pre-Nationals. W&M has also won all three of the lower level events that it entered this season –  the Spider Alumni Open, the W&M Invitational, and the Tribe Invitational.

Leading the Tribe will be two-time CAA Runner of the Week selection and 2011 championship runner-up Elaina Balouris. Freshman Emily Stites was the winner of the Spider Alumni Invitational earlier this season, while Jess Cygan was the 2011 CAA Rookie of the Year and Michelle Britto placed eighth at the CAA Championship a year ago.

Also in the mix will be Delaware, which holds the No. 11 ranking in the USTFCCCA Mid-Atlantic Region. The Blue Hens enter the event with three team titles already this season, and a top-20 finish in Paul Short Invitational. UD will be led by junior Lindsay Prettyman, who has two individual titles this season and was named CAA Runner of the Week on Sept. 4th.

For complete championship coverage visit CAA Cross Country Championship Central.

For live in-race updates Saturday morning follow on Twitter @CAASports and #CAAChamps.