WashU Cross Country Opens Season with Top-Two Rankings

WashU Cross Country Opens Season with Top-Two Rankings

St. Louis, Mo., August 30, 2019 –
The Washington University in St. Louis cross country program opens the 2019 season in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Poll where the Bears concluded their 2018 season at the NCAA Division III National Championships – the women are ranked first while the men are listed second in the initial poll.

The women led the poll totaling 280 points on a clean sweep of eight first place votes. The national runner-up Johns Hopkins is listed second with 272 points followed by Wisconsin-Eau Claire (263), Williams (257) and MIT (245) to round out the top-five.

The men totaled 262 points which tied Williams for second in the preseason poll. The three-peat national champion North Central Cardinals led the poll with eight first place votes and 280 points. Also in the top-five on the men's side are Wartburg (257) and Pomona-Pitzer (254).


The Bears return four members of the lineup that produced the 2018 national title including the first ever individual national champion in program history, senior Paige Lawler. Senior Sophie Watterson earned her first All-American honor by placing 13th overall last year with a time of 21:31.2.

Junior Megan Girmscheid and sophomore Gabby McGinn had the sixth and seventh fastest times for the Bears at nationals last season, finishing 112 and 151 respectively out of 279 competitors. Junior Katie Snodgrass was also a strong contributor during the Midwest Regional Championships, placing 35th out of 255 runners.

Lawler, Watterson and McGinn were All-University Athletic Association (UAA) First Team honorees last season by posting one of the top-seven times at the conference championship. Snodgrass was a second team honoree by placing 14th overall. Lawler, Watterson, Girmscheid, McGinn and Snodgrass were all-Midwest Region honorees in 2018 as well.

Junior Lara Rix brings national experience as well, running as a freshman in 2017 and placing 142nd overall. She earned All-Midwest Region honors in 2017.

Also returning to the Bears are seniors: Sahara Ensley, Payton Fors, Lia Schattner, Skyler Simon; juniors: Zarya deSouza, Caitlin Horn, Annemarie Michael, Emily Stegmeier and Sydney Stribrny; sophomores: Mara Bajic, Grace Bristow, Lindsey Gallagher, Carmen Rottinghaus, Elizabeth Saliba, Emma Walter and Sophie Young.

The freshman class consists of Alexa Clare Anderson, Ella Behrens, Anna Karner, Emily Konkus, Meredith Lang, Jenna Murdock, Lindsay Ott, Alicia Repka, Natalie Sorenson, Julia Thigpen, as well as senior transfer Samantha Jordan.


Of the seven-man lineup that secured a program-best finish of second place in 2018, the Bears return three led by senior All-American Nick Matteucci. Matteucci earned his first All-American honor in cross country last season, having already earned the distinction multiple times during indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. He placed 10th overall a season ago with an 8K time of 24:43.9.

Junior Joe Stover provided the fifth and final time to count towards the Bears placement at nationals when he crossed the finish line in a personal-best 25:12.8 to place 56th overall. He was an All-Midwest Region honoree a year ago.

Senior Marco Quaroni ran in his second consecutive national championship last season and was an All-Midwest Region recipient in 2017. Sophomore Patrick Norrick earned all-UAA Rookie Team honors last year when he placed 15th overall. Junior Scott Mitchell and senior Noah Trimark also contributed strong finishes at the UAA Championships.

Also returning for the Bears are seniors: Ben Gersch, Jackson Hyde and Jack Sebok; juniors: Pratyay Bishnupuri, Tucker Cera, Scott Mitchell and Drew Wilkerson; sophomores: Nick Brdicko, Liam Cadden, Alex Cobin, Neil Cumberland, Michael Ly, Jacob Ridderhoff, Connor Rutledge, Eli Ten Eyck and Connor Wright.

Joining the Bears as freshmen are: Jeff Candell, Max Hanley, Peter Huff, Matt Kusak, James McCutcheon, Arun Movva and Aidan Smyth.

WashU will begin its season on Saturday, August 31 during the Gabby Reuveni Intrasquad meet at Forest Park. The Bears first competition will come on Saturday, September 21 at the Gil Dodds Invite at St. James Farm.

Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.