WASHINGTON – The American University cross country team is set to return after a three-week hiatus, as the Eagles travel to Bethlehem, Pa., on Friday for the 44th annual Paul Short Run.
Hosted by Lehigh and presented by Asics, the Paul Short Run is the largest intercollegiate cross country meet in the country with approximately 6,000 student-athletes from nearly 450 colleges and high schools scheduled to compete. Events at the Goodman Campus Cross Country Course will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the men's open race and will conclude at 5:45 p.m. with the girls' high school junior varsity race.
The AU men will be up first with the Gold 8k Race at 11 a.m., followed by the women's Gold 6k Race at 11:45 a.m. Both fields will feature fellow-Patriot League squads, including host Lehigh as well as Army West Point, Boston University (men only), Holy Cross (women only) and Navy.
The fields will also feature several nationally ranked programs, starting with No. 10 Iona, No. 17 Georgetown and No. 28 Columbia on the men's side, along with No. 15 Villanova, No. 21 Utah State, No. 23 Georgetown and No. 24 Mississippi State.
This is the first meet back for the Eagles since they earned top-three team finishes at the Navy Invitational on September 9. On the men's side, junior Matthew Rainey will look to time through with another top finish for AU after he led the squad with a third-place overall crossing at Navy. Classmate Ben Doiron will also be in the running for the squad's top spot after he led the Eagle men during the season opener at the Mount St. Mary's Duals.
Also set to compete for the men will be senior Alaeldin Tirba, senior Liam Purdy, senior Sam Doud, and junior Tommy Sommer, all of whom have scored for AU in the first two meets of the season, along with sophomore Gerard D'Ambrosio.
For the women, junior Adriana Hooks will also be looking to continue leading the team. Hooks has paced the Eagles for seven consecutive races, dating back to the 2016 season debut at the Mount St. Mary's Duals.
Hooks will be joined by sophomore Ariana Lopez, who was the No. 2 finisher for the Eagles throughout her freshman season and during the 2017 opener at Mount St. Mary's. At Navy, though, it was freshman Shelbi Wuss who stepped up as the second finisher for the Eagles, followed by classmate Nadia Stratton in third for the team, junior Kassidy Ayres in fourth and senior Brianna Belo in fifth.
Hooks, Lopez, Wuss, Stratton, Ayres and Belo, along with sophomore Katelyn Deibler, sophomore Kaitlin McTernan and senior Jude Mabone are slated to take the line on Friday.
For the latest on AU Cross Country, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.