Bearcats Have Strong Start, Finish at BIG EAST Championships

Oct. 28, 2005


BRONX, N.Y. - The University of Cincinnati cross country teams made an impressive showing at their first BIG EAST Championships at Van Cortlandt Park on Saturday. Junior Kevin Schwarz helped the men finish in sixth place, while the Bearcat women, led by senior Karen Berling, tied with the University of South Florida for tenth place.

The Cincinnati men's sixth-place finish (194 points) put them in the top half of the conference, topping eight other squads. The University of Louisville (112) and Villanova (157) were the Bearcats' closest competition in the 14-team race.

In a field of 109 runners, Schwarz was the first Bearcat across the line in 25:20 for a 24th-place finish. He was followed by juniors Brad Neumann and Eric Mayhaus. Neumann ran one his strongest races of the season, completing the 8K course in a time of 25:57 and finishing in 36th place. Mayhaus returned to his spot among the team leaders by finishing 43rd and posting a time of 26:09. The team score was rounded out by freshman Rick King (26:10) in 44th place and junior David Adams (26:13) in 47th.

Notre Dame took the team title for the second consecutive year. Earning the individual win was Providence College's Martin Fagan whose time of 23:48 is believed to be a collegiate record at Van Cortlandt Park.

The women's squad was unable to achieve their goal of seventh place, but battled strong to earn a tenth-place tie in a field of 16 teams. Cincinnati was neck-and-neck with USF (255 points), but was just edged out by ninth-place University of Connecticut (251).

Berling continued her reign as the top runner for the Bearcats, finishing in 29th place in a time of 22:23. Berling's backup found strong competition among themselves as freshman Megan Knapp and sophomore Nichole Leslie finished 48th and 49th, respectively. They each posted a time of 23:03. Junior Cristy Doll and sophomore Jennifer Hannen also completed the 6K course within a second of each other. Doll's time of 23:42 gave her a 64th-place finish, while Hannen's 23:43 earned her 65th place.



Providence took the women's individual title for the third consecutive year, with Fiona Crombie recording a time of 20:05. Notre Dame took the team title.

The 2005 BIG EAST Cross Country Championships will be televised nationally on College Sports Television on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 9:00 p.m.

Cincinnati will run next in Bloomington, Ind. at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships on Saturday, Nov. 12. The men are scheduled to race at 11:00 a.m., followed by the women at 12:15 p.m.

Top Cincinnati Finishers (Men)

24. Kevin Schwarz............25:20

36. Brad Neumann............25:57

43. Eric Mayhaus..............26:09

44. Rick King..................26:10

47. David Adams..............26:13

Top Cincinnati Finishers (Women)

29. Karen Berling..............22:23

48. Megan Knapp..............23:03

49. Nichole Leslie.............23:03

64. Cristy Doll.................23:42

65. Jennifer Hannen...........23:43