Michael Smith (3rd Year)
2nd Big East
2nd Mid-Atlantic Region
Probable Top Five:
JR Samantha Nadel (4:17 1500m; 9:25 3k; 16:09 5k; 47th NCAA XC '13)
SR Katrina Coogan (4:13 1500m; 9:04 3k; 15:50 5k; 60th NCAA XC '13)
SO Haley Pierce (4:22 1500m; 9:16 3k; 16:11 5k; 52nd NCAA XC '13)
SR Madeline Chambers (4:20 1500m; 9:09 3k; 16:10 5k; 99th NCAA XC '13)
SO Rachel Paul (4:21 1500m; 9:21 3k; 137th NCAA XC '13)
Madeline Perez - Glenbard West, IL (4:52 1600m; 10:21 3200m; 16th NXN '12)
Kennedy Weisner - Elk County Catholic, PA (4:45 Mile; 10:40 3200m; 37th Footlocker '12)
Autumn Eastman - Champlain Valley Union, VT (4:39 1500m; 10:36 3200m; 16th NXN '13)
Piper Donaghu - Grant, OR (2:09 800m; 4:34 1500m)
Everyone of Coach Michael Smith's team can win a race on any given day. That is the secret to this team's high ranking, as justified by their 5th place finish at the NCAA meet last year. They are just darn good. Every one of them. So one does not know where to start to list a front runner, but perhaps junior Samantha Nadel deserves first billing. She was 47th last year in Indiana and has a 4:17 1500m to back it up. She is a former New York State Cross Country champion and that is no small feat.
As the child of two Olympians (Mark and Gwyn Coogan), Katrina Coogan certainly has the genes and the environmental culture growing up to have what it takes to lead the Lady Hoyas. She is a proven product herself with times like 4:13 for 1500m and 15:50 for 5k. Coogan is now a senior and wants to desperately improve on her 60th place in last year's big race. Her 4:13 1500m will certainly make her one of the fastest returning milers in the race.
Sophomore Hailey Pierce was outstanding as a freshman, running a 52nd place finish in the National meet. The Delaware native was a runner up in the Nike National Cross Meet in 2011, so she knows what it takes to run with the big girls. Her 4:22 1500m last year as a freshman was outstanding and she may take it upon herself to front run the Lady Hoyas this season.
Senior Madeline Chambers and sophomore Rachel Paul round out the top five for Coach Smith. Chambers has run 4:20 and 16:10 for 1500m and 5k this past spring and will certainly be better than her 99th place last year. The same with Paul as she ran 4:21 for 1500m and will likely improve on her 137th place from last year. Coach Smith might not need any of his incoming people to score if this top five stays healthy, as it is difficult to imagine any of them breaking into the scoring group. But for 6th and 7th runners, he can pick from freshmen Madeline Perez of Illinois (10:21 for 3200m), Kennedy Weisner of Pennsylvania (4:45 mile), Autumn Eastman of Vermont (16th at NSN), and Piper Donaghu (2:09 for 800m) all the way from Grant, Oregon.
Smith has got to be happy with his core group coming back. The trick will be to keep them all healthy and firing on all cylinders. If he can do this, the Nation's Capital team will have a podium spot to rest on after the race.
#4 Oregon Men
#5 Oregon Women