SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University cross country teams are looking forward to the NCAA Division III Mideast Regionals on Saturday. The event is being hosted by Dickinson College in Newville, Pennsylvania, with the first race set to begin at 11 a.m.
Follow the meet
For more information on the regional, click here.
How we got here
The Sea Gulls come into the regionals after a strong showing in the Capital Athletic Conference championships. The men's team headlined the event with the program's 10th conference title, winning the event with 42 points, while junior Thomas Burke won the individual championship with a time of 25:02.2. The women's team placed fourth in the conference, while being led by Olivia Cloud; she placed 21st with a time of 23:31.6.
NCAA regional history
Salisbury has had success in the regional event, having 27 total student-athletes in the program's history win first-team all-region. Of that number, 18 of the runners were SU women, while nine were competing for the men's team. Former Gulls Ryan Jackson and Kyle Tockman were named to the first team in 2010 and 2012, respectively, while also being the only two Sea Gulls to earn spots on the all-freshman team. During the 1999 regional, Suzy McCulloch was named the Mideast Regional Runner of the Year; she is the only Salisbury runner to have earned the award.
Last year's regional
In the 2013 event, the Sea Gull men placed 16th with 554 points. Burke led the team with a 76th-place in a time of 26:31. Salisbury's key runners this season, along with Burke, seniors George Martinez, Brandon Horning, and Jeremy Skarda and junior Eric Wood all finished in SU's top-seven runners in the race last year, as well. Cloud was SU's second runner to cross the finish last season, as she placed 159th in 24:45.
Salisbury's fab five
Burke, Martinez, Horning, Skarda, and Wood make up a key group of runners for the Sea Gulls this season, finishing in Salisbury's top-six runners in each race. The quintet came together for a great performance in the CAC championships, all finishing in the top-20 spots of the conference, while Burke, Martinez, and Wood were named to the All-CAC first team for the effort and Horning was named to the second team. After Burke's first-place finish, Martinez came in third (25:16.3) and Wood placed seventh (25:19.2), while Horning finished 13th (25:30.7).
Cloud came into the 2014 season as the lone senior on a young Salisbury women's team and has led the squad through the season. She has been SU's top runner in four events this year, including her finish in the conference title race, which was her second-best finish of the season. Cloud's best came in the Delaware University Invitational with a 12th-place finish in 25:49.35.
After the regional round, the qualifying teams will reach the NCAA Division III championships on Saturday, November 22. The top two teams and the top seven individual runners that are not already on the top two teams automatically qualify for the championships, and the third through fifth teams are put into a pool to possibly receive an at-large bid for the national race.