Northeast Regional: Men's and Women's Preview
October 26th, 2018
Northeastern women return a strong team, but will they repeat? Men have the most returning top 30 runners of any regional, but uncertain depth could lead to an upset.
Northeast Regional Preview - Women (Milton, NY)
The Northeast Regional returns to Milton, NY, where reigning champion Chelsea Wojeski from Northeastern hopes to repeat. It is a deep field this year filled with several top 30 returners from last year’s Regional and some newcomers who have run well this season and are looking to make an impact.
Northeastern will attempt to repeat as team champions but will need another strong performance from Chelsea Wojeski if they hope to fend off other hopefuls. They return five top 30 runners from last year’s team, Gabby Rao (10th), Rebecca Elliot (24th), Erin Dillman (27th), and Tyra Christopherson (30th). Their top 5 will be pushed by Rylie Ellam and Caroline Evans, who finished 4th and 8th at the UConn Invitational, as they come in with the deepest squad.
Connecticut are also sending a strong squad in hopes of upsetting Northeastern’s bid of a repeat. The Huskies have three top 30 runners who will look to lead them to a podium spot; Henley Smith (14th), Amber Bardsley (22nd), and Sarah Woodward (29th) are their highest returners. This season they have had strong performances from Rachel Haviland, 9th at the UConn Invitational, Lauren Daddi, who finished 2nd, and Bethany Ottowitz, who finished 3rd, and hope to break the streak of back to back 2nd place team finishes.
Brown, Vermont, and Boston also bring some depth to the course and will look to play spoiler. Brown has four top 30 runners but unknown depth behind them. Their returners are Violet Sackett (12th), Katie Chu (13th), Casey Nelson (21st), and Joy Jiang (26th). Vermont only has one top 30 returner in Brooke Pietrafesa, who finished 8th last year, but has a pair of runners who had top five finishes at the Harvard Invitational, Bel Sogoloff (3rd) and Meaghan Alba (5th). The Catamounts will need some help but have a shot at a few top 10 individual awards. Boston finds themselves in a similar situation to Vermont as they have two top 30 returners, Michelle Alessandro (17th) and Melissa Stuart (25th), and returner Haley Gambone, who finished 7th at the Northeast Regional in 2016 and has had a 5th and 8th place this season.
While they may struggle to place as a team there are a few individuals who will be looking for a place among the top 10 individuals. Megha Singh from Cornell, who finished 4th last year, Michelle Vaccaro from Harvard, who finished 1st at the Harvard Invitational, and from Boston College, Christina LaRitz, 4th at Princeton Invitational and 2nd at Harvard Invitational, and Amanda L’Esperance, 5th at Princeton Invitational and 4th at Harvard Invitational.
1st – Northeastern
2nd – Connecticut
3rd – Brown
Northeast Regional Preview - Men (Milton, NY)
The men’s race has the most top 30 returners of any race, but most teams do not have an obvious top five, leaving this race wide open. A couple of teams have a strong top two but will need others to step up if they hope to find a place on the podium.
Binghamton finished second place last year but returns four of the top 30 runners from last year. Zachary Malik, who finished 7th last year, will lead the Bearcats as they attempt to reclaim first place after finishing second to Connecticut last year. He will be supported by Connor Fitzpatrick (13th) and Jack Murphy (20th), who both ran well this season at the BRC Open and Northeast Invitational, and Mark Richter (24th). They will need some others to step up if they want to claim first place.
Northeastern returns the highest top end talent with Peter Teixeira and Luke Janik, who finished 4th and 9th last year. Thanks to some strong performances this year at the UConn Invitational and the Harvard Invitational, they are favorites to finish top ten and possibly 1st and 2nd. They will be hoping for Jonah Spector to run well after finishing 4th at the UConn invitational, but will be looking for a few others to have crack the top 40 if they hope to repeat as champions.
Harvard, Buffalo, Brown, Connecticut, and Boston are the other teams with multiple top 30 returners, but not much returning depth. Harvard will have the greatest challenge since they only have five runners registered for the race, so while placing as a team may be just out of reach, their top two should have a good day. Emmanuel D’Agostino (3rd) will make a push for first overall individually while James Gusmer (19th) will be looking to crack the top 10. Buffalo will be led by Leonard Pietrafesa (8th) and Jacob Brill (30th) and have one of the largest teams racing this weekend.
Brown return Adam Janik (10th) and Moses Lurbur (23rd) and are hoping that Eliot Laidlaw and Matthew Vigilante can run well after a few top ten performances this season. Connecticut, like Buffalo, have one of the largest teams, and will looking for a few of those members to step up and support Austin Frank (14th) and Timothy Cannata (25th). Lastly, Boston will be led by Benjamin Garcia (22nd) and Juan Estela (31st) and will be looking to improve upon their 6th place finish last year and possibly challenge for a spot on the podium.
1st – Binghamton
2nd – Northeastern
3rd – Connecticut
Michael Potter, NIRCA