13 Dec 2021 | 08:42 | CROSS COUNTRY
VILLANOVA, Pa.—The top three finishers in the Villanova lineup from the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional are headed to the NCAA Championships as individual qualifiers for the national meet which takes place on November 20 in Tallahassee, Fla. The group of Wildcats includes senior Haftu Strintzos (Melbourne, Australia), redshirt freshman Jack Jennings (Mendham, N.J.) and senior Josh Phillips (Belrose, Australia). This is the 15th straight year that Villanova has qualified either individuals or the full team for the national championships.
The 2021 Division I Cross Country Championships head to Florida this year for the first time and will take place on Saturday, November 20 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. The meet can be seen live on ESPNU and the ESPN app beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with the women’s race going off at 10:20 a.m. and the men’s race following at 11:10 a.m. Live results will also be available during the meet and that link will be posted closer to the day of the championships.
The field of teams for the NCAA Championships consists of 18 automatic qualifiers based on the top two teams at each of nine regional meets around the country and 13 at-large selections based on results accumulated over the course of the season. In addition, the top four individual finishers at each regional that are not on a qualifying team for the NCAA Championships are chosen as individual runners for the national meet.
Strintzos, Jennings and Phillips were among six Wildcats who earned Mid-Atlantic All-Region honors based on their finishes at Friday’s regional meet. They each placed among the first dozen finishers, with Strintzos leading the way with a runner-up finish followed by Jennings in ninth place and Phillips in 12th place. Villanova had six all-region performers for the fourth time since the current regional format began in 2000.
During the abbreviated cross country season this past Spring, Strintzos was the Mid-Atlantic Region Athlete of the Year after winning the BIG EAST individual title. Saturday’s national championship race will be his third career appearance at the NCAA meet, while Phillips has been a part of the Wildcats lineup at nationals in each of the past three seasons. The newcomer to the group is Jennings, who made his collegiate debut this Fall after redshirting the 2020-21 campaigns in cross country and on the track. He finished in ninth place at both the BIG EAST Championships and the Mid-Atlantic Regional to earn all-conference and all-region honors.
December 11th, 2021
December 11th, 2021