Men’s Cross Country: Ranked 9th in country, Catamounts prep for National Championships

Keyser, WV- The Potomac State College Men’s Cross Country team has climbed into the USTFCCCA National Rankings for the first time since October 22, 2014 matching their highest ranking in school history at #9. 

The Catamounts have earned this national ranking after finishing Runner-up to #2 Howard at the Region XX Championships.  PSC has also placed on the podium at the FSU Bobcat Invitational (3rd), the AB Seaton Invitational (2nd) and at the Westmoreland Wolfpack Invitational (2nd).  This national Ranking has earned the Catamount Harriers an At-Large Berth to the 2015 NJCAA DIII Cross Country National Championships hosted by Holyoke Community College at Stanley Park in Westfield, MA on November 7th.  Competing for the Cats at the National Championship will be Jared Hallow, Gregory Dirlik, Pierce Miller, Markis-Grayson Aldridge, Matthew Spencer, Zachary Green and Marcus Garey. 

PSC Head Coach Ian Hankins gave these reports:

"Reigning USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week, Freshman Jared Hallow (Gerradstown, WV) has led the Catamounts all year as he finished the regular season with a Region XX Championship, 4 runner-up performances and school records over 5k (16:06), 6k (19:27) and 8k (26:51).  Hallow earned All-Region Honors by winning the 2015 Region XX Cross Country Championships by 45 seconds as he led wire-to-wire. 

Gregory Dirlik (Silver Spring, MD) has also had an impressive season by being a solid #2 all year with 3 top 10 performances and joining Hallow on the All-Region Team with a 5th place showing at the Regional Championships.  Pierce Miller one of the only sophomores on the squad showed great leadership all year and just missed earning All-Region Honors with a 6th place finish. 

Markis Grayson Aldridge (Kailua-Kona, HI) a freshman from Hawaii really showed consistent improvement becoming our #4 runner.  Matthew Spencer (Baltimore, MD) has had an incredible first year for us being anywhere from #3-#5 with him placing 10th at the AB Seaton Invitational after just missing the podium at Westmoreland (11th). 

Sophomore Zachary Green (Washington, DC) has provided us some great leadership and experience and step up big as our #6 runner pushing other teams #5 runners back to help us in the standings.  Marcus Garey (Washington, DC) has shown steady improvement all year for us including a 3 minute personal best at the region championships. 

Green and Garey give us great depth necessary to compete for a national title.  “I’m so proud and excited for the men’s squad as we earned an at-large bid for nationals for the first time in school history.  These guys deserve it and have worked all year with this goal in mind.  I believe that Jared has a chance at contending for the individual crown and Greg and Pierce could join him on the podium for All-American Honors. 

On paper we sit at #9 in the country, but I’ve been around long enough to know anything is possible at nationals and really the podium is within our sights especially with having a low stick in Jared.  We are peaking at the right time, so nationals should be fun and exciting."

The Catamounts travel to Westfield, MA for the NJCAA DIII Cross Country National Championships on November 7th with the men slated to go off at 10:00 AM.  For those unable to make the trip, you may watch from home on flotrack.org or ESPN3.