Cross Country Prepares for CAA Championships
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Cross Country Prepares for CAA Championships

FAIRFAX, Va. - The George Mason men's and women's cross country team will race in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships this Saturday, October 27th. The race will be held at the Eastern State Course in Williamsburg, Va.

The men's last race was two weeks ago at the Blue Ridge Open, where they took second place behind the efforts of senior Robert Reynolds won the race with a time of 24:31.07.  For their last race before the championships, the women traveled to Delaware where they took third place at the Blue and Gold Invitational.

"The CAA Championships is the first of our string of three championship level meets. It's a big one for us both in terms of our yearly goals and priorities throughout the whole season," commented head coach Andrew Gerard.

Last year at the CAA Championships the men finished second behind William and Mary, making it the third consecutive year Mason has been runner-up in the championships. The women took seventh in last year's race.

"Our goal with the women is to build on last year's finish and to continue progressing forward.  For the men, as we have for the last three years, our goal is to put ourselves in a position to contend for the title and run our own race," reflected Gerard. "If both teams do that, we'll be happy and will be able to use it to be a springboard into the NCAA Regional Championships in two weeks."

As the CAA Championships approach, below is a recap of what Mason has done throughout the season.

Spider Alumni Open: The Patriots' first race of the season, held on September 1st at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Va. The men's race was a 5k while the women's was a two mile run.

Men: Finished fourth overall behind University of Richmond, University of Maryland, and William and Mary. Mason was led by John Holt who finished 19th overall with a time of 15:40.9.

Women: Also finished fourth and were led by Jennifer Nakamura.

William and Mary Invitational: Race was held at Eastern State Course, the site of the CAA Championships, on September 15th. This race marked the first time the men ran in an 8k race this season, while the women ran a 5k.

Men: Finished second overall behind William and Mary with 48 points. The Patriots placed two runners in the top-5 with Holt's third place finish and Reynolds fifth place finish.

Women: Finished fourth overall behind William and Mary, University of Richmond and UNC Wilmington. Bethany Sachtleben's fifth place finish was the solo top-10 finish for Mason.

Mason Invitational: Marked the Patriots' lone home race of the season. The race was held at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Va. This race marked the first time the women ran a 6k. The men ran an 8k.

Men: Finished second overall behind LaSalle. Mason placed three runners in the top-10 with Alex Ott's fourth place finished followed by John Holt in fifth and Robert Reynolds in seventh.

Women: Also finished second overall behind LaSalle. Sachtleben led the Patriots with her third place finish.

Blue Ridge Open: The men's last race before the CAA Championships. The race was held in Boone, N.C. on the Don Kennedy Trails course. Mason placed second overall just behind Wake Forest. In his first win of the season Reynolds placed first with a time of 24.31.07. Everett Hackett followed in third, followed by Alex Ott's sixth place finish.

Blue and Gold Invitational: The women chose to travel to Delaware for their last tune-up before the CAA Championships. They finished third overall, Sachtleben led the Patriots for the third consecutive race with her fourth place finish.

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