Race Preview: Collegiate Nationals 2016
This weekend athletes from the 10 national conferences will be competing for the right to call themselves national champions. The NECTC has nearly 150 athletes competing on its own, in the biggest field in this race's history with over 1,350 athletes!
The weekend will feature 3 collegiate races. Friday is the Draft Legal Sprint race for the top 75 male and female athletes in the country. Saturday is the Olympic distance national championship, followed by the Mixed Team Relay.
Men's Draft Legal Preview:
Last year it was Penn State's Jason West from the NECTC who claimed the National title in the Draft Legal race. This year West is on to WTS races as a professional and has left the door open for someone else. The top returning athlete this year is another NECTC and Penn State athlete, Mike Meehan. Other NECTC standouts looking to break onto the podium are Dylan Morgan and Jacob Slife of West Point. Overall this looks like it could be a very solid race for the NECTC representatives. The main outside threat to the title is Brian Primeaux of the US Naval Academy.
Women's Draft Legal Preview:
Kelly Kosmo (UCLA) and Brittany Warly (CU) were the top two finishers at this race last year and are the returning favorites. West Point's Cat Sedy returns to the draft legal field with teammates Teresa Groton and Madison Jones as the top three NECTC representatives.
Men's Olympic Preview:
The Olympic distance races are hard to predict, but there will be a major shake up in the top ten this year. Only 3 of the top 10 men are returning from last year's race and two are NECTC athletes. Last year Mike Meehan (Penn State) finished in 4th overall and Dylan Morgan (West Point) placed in 8th. Brian Primeaux (USNA) placed in 9th and is the only other returning top 10 athlete. Other NECTC athletes looking to put in a top performance this year include Jacob Slife (West Point) and Andrew Keenan (Drexel). This year's second place conference athlete Spencer Ralston (Saint Michael's) is injured and will not be in attendance.
Women's Olympic Preview:
The women's field also only has 3 women returning from last year's top 10: Kelly Kosmo (UCLA) finished in 6th, Erica Clevenger (University of AZ) finished in 7th, and Laura Haley (University of AZ) finished in 9th. the top returning NECTC athletes are Cat Sedy (West Point) who finished in 14th and Meghan Smith (Drexel) who finished in 53rd. However, look for Columbia's Cecilia Davis-Hayes to make an impact on the race this year as she took the overall win at this year's NECTC Conference Championship Race.
Combined Results Preview:
Overall if you are looking for a team to jump onto the podium, West Point has the best shot. As a combined team they finished in 7th overall last year. Our best individual combined scorer was Mike Meehan (Penn State) who finished 3rd overall last year for his draft legal and olympic combined scores.