@AU_TrackXC Continues to Climb USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

Tommy Sommer, Ben Doiron, Matthew Rainey, Alaeldin Tirba at the 2017 Patriot League Cross Country Championship

WASHINGTON – The American University cross country teams reached new season-highs on the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Mid-Atlantic Region rankings on Monday, as the men came in at eighth and the women 12th. 

The men moved up a spot after coming in at ninth last week. The Eagles were fourth at the Patriot League Cross Country Championships over the weekend behind the sixth-place finish of senior Alaeldin Tirba, who earned his first career First Team All-Patriot League finish on the cross country course. Tirba was the highest AU finisher on the men's side since 2012 when Mark Allen finished as runner-up before going on to qualify for the NCAA Championship.

Juniors Matthew Rainey and Ben Doiron also earned All-Patriot League honors, finishing in 10th and 14th, respectively, to land on the PL Second Team. 

The Eagles beat four fellow-Mid-Atlantic Region competitors en route to their fourth-place finish at the PL Championship – Bucknell, Lehigh, Lafayette, and Loyola (Md.). The team will enter regional championship week with their highest regional ranking since 2013 when they opened at fourth in the preseason regional rankings.

The women also bumped up after the Patriot League Championship, coming in 12th in the region after placing sixth in the conference on Saturday. This has been the first season since 2013 that the women have appeared in the Mid-Atlantic rankings.

Junior Adriana Hooks led the Eagles with a fourth-place finish on Saturday, good for a First Team All-Patriot League nod. This is the second consecutive season that Hooks earned a spot on an All-PL team after she finished ninth last season for a Second Team honor. Her performance on Saturday was the best for an AU woman since 2010 when Octavia Rinehardt placed fourth before qualifying for the NCAA Championship.

The AU women also outran a couple of Mid-Atlantic region foes during the league championship meet, placing ahead of Loyola (Md.) and Lafayette.

The Eagles will fight for a chance to compete at the NCAA Championship meet during the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship next weekend, hosted by Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pa., on Friday, Nov. 10. For the latest on AU Cross Country, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.