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 Mike Falk
 Sports Information Director
 Muhlenberg College
 2400 Chew Street
 Allentown PA 18104
 484-664-3232
 falk@muhlenberg.edu

Cross Country
2006 Season Review:

The NCAA Mideast Regional was held at an airport in western Pennsylvania – an appropriate location for the Muhlenberg men’s cross country team, which took off in 2006 and landed in the top 30 in Division III.

The Mules tied program bests by finishing second at the Centennial
Stephen Rothwell
Rothwell finished in the top half of the NCAA field, coming in 138th out of 279 runners.
Conference Championships and fourth at the Mideast Regional. They earned their first bid to the NCAA Division III Championships, placing 29th in a field of 32.

The Muhlenberg women finished 10th out of 41 teams at the NCAA Mideast Regional, two places away from their best showing ever.

With their top eight consisting of five seniors and three sophomores, the men had the perfect blend of experience and youth to snap their streak of three straight fourth-place finishes at the CC Championships. The Mules gave an indication that things might be different when they finished only two points behind 2005 CC runner-up Dickinson in their second meet of the season, the Waynesburg Invitational.

More impressive performances followed: second out of 25 teams at the Paul Short Invitational and first out of 20 teams at the DeSales Invitational – the first win in program history in a large (20 or more teams) invitational. Senior Lex Mercado led a contingent of three Muhlenberg runners in the top 10 at Paul Short, then won the DeSales Invitational by more than 14 seconds.

Mercado alternated with two other seniors, Tim Seeley and Stephen Rothwell, for the team lead. Seeley had the best race of his career at the CC Championships, finishing fourth to tie for the second-best showing by a
Sara Gearin
Gearin’s best finish was 11th at the DeSales Invitational.
Mule runner at the meet. Mercado (seventh) and Rothwell (eighth) also finished in the top 10 as Muhlenberg scored 56 points, by third-fewest by a team other than Haverford in the 14-year history of the meet.

Rothwell took top honors at the regional, coming in 23rd to join Seeley (30th) and sophomores David Chorney (27th) and Timothy Van Syckle (35th) in the top 35. The Mules’ gap of 41 seconds between their first and fifth runners was the best in the meet.

Muhlenberg was rewarded with one of 16 at-large berths to the NCAA Championships. Entering the national meet ranked 33rd in the Division III coaches poll, the Mules finished ahead of three other invited teams.

The women lined up a young team that featured three juniors, three sophomores and a freshman in the top seven. Junior Sara Gearin, returning to the squad after playing soccer in 2005, was the Mules’ top finisher in all but one of her races, followed by much-improved sophomore Laura Lipari.

The women landed in the top 10 at the regional by one point over a Gettysburg team that had beaten them by 10 points at the CC Championships two weeks earlier.

 

Muhlenberg® Collegeempty2400 Chew St.emptyAllentown, PA 18104-5586empty484.664.3100empty484.664.3623  (TTY)