UMPI XC: First Time at NCAA Regionals

PRESQUE ISLE, Me. (WAGM) - For the first time in program history the University of Maine at Presque Isle cross country team is competing in a NCAA regional meet.

"Division 3 regionals, northeast region, it's legit, it's the real deal," Cross-Country head coach, Chris Smith said.

The Owls men and women placed seventh and third respectively at the NAC championship in Belfast, but the course at Bowdoin is going to be a different animal.

"This course is going to be a lot drier, it's flat, it's going to be a lot faster course," Smith said. "The thing is to get out and get in position and just try to hold your position, run as much as you can according to plan but you don't want get hung up behind a whole lot of runners either."

One runner who established herself as a leader of the pack is freshman, Valentine Degiovanni, who's been named NAC Rookie of the Week several times this season.

"Val's the real deal," Smith said. " In a quality field she tends to rise to the occasion, generally runs pretty well against better competition, we'll have to see where she stacks up where she falls in the final results."

On the boys side, Smith is hoping they can get out there and end the season with strong times.

"We're looking for personal bests for the season as well as all time and this is a course which it could happen on." Smith said.

The biggest impact of the NCAA meet may not be on the course tomorrow, but on the recruiting trail in the future.

61 schools are looking to set the pace tomorrow in Brunswick starting at 11 A.M. with the women's six k followed by the men's eight k at noon.