(Posted November 14, 2009)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Juniata College senior Matt Bailey (East Petersburg, Pa./Hempfield) finished 27th overall at the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, held Saturday afternoon at the Lehigh University Cross Country Course.

Bailey's time of 25:58.2 in the 8K race puts him in position to possibly qualify for the NCAA Championship meet on Saturday, Nov. 21, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bailey's fate will be determined by how many at-large teams are taken out of the Mideast Region. The top two finishers in the Mideast Regional meet - Allegheny College and Carnegie Mellon University - automatically qualify for the NCAA Championship, with the third and fourth place teams - Haverford College and Dickinson College - likely to advance to nationals on at-large berths. If the fifth place team, Elizabethtown College, also earns a team at-large berth to the NCAA Championship meet, then Bailey would advance as one of the top seven individual runners not on a qualifying team.

Should Bailey earn a slot in the NCAA Championship field, he would be the first Juniata runner to compete in the NCAA Division III Championship meet. Final selections for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will be known on Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.

Sophomore Nik Klena (Franklin, Pa./Oil City) was the next highest Juniata finisher in 76th place with a time o 26:56.5. Senior Sam Williams (Roaring Spring, Pa./Central) was 96th in 27:17.3, while Kevin Donahue (Sandy Hook, Conn./Newtown) was 155th (28:14.4). Steve Schmitt (New Providence, Pa./Solanco) was 173rd overall (28:33.7), while Ryan Trexler (Altoona, Pa./Altoona) was 194th (29:00.4). Scott Hammer (Altoona, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) was 227th (29:46.7).

As a team, Juniata finished 18th out of 45 teams in the event.

In the women's 6K race, senior Laura Rupprecht (Jefferson, Md./Brunswick) was the top finisher with a time of 23:08.1, good enough for 33rd in the field.

Trailing Rupprecht, in 113th place, was freshman Caroline Morgan (Havertown, Pa./Haverford Township) with a time of 24:39.3. Junior Anne Wakabayashi (El Cajon, Calif./Academy of Our Lady of Peace) was 125th in 24:49.0, while junior Megan McQuillan (Severna Park, Md./Seton Keough) was 157th (25:24.2). Senior Megan Peterson (Canton, Pa./Canton) was 194th (26:19.4), while junior Elizabeth Linde (Kirkwood, Pa./Solanco) was 200th (26:28.9).

Juniata was 23rd out of 44 schools to participate in the Mideast Regional meet.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.