The 29th annual Centennial Conference men's cross country championship will take place Saturday, Oct. 29 at Haverford College's Alumni Cross Country Course. Haverford will host the championship for the fifth time and first time since 2018. The women's 6,000-meter run will kick things off at 11 a.m. followed by the men's 8,000-meter race at noon.
At the 2021 Centennial championship, Haverford reclaimed its spot atop the conference by capturing its 24th title. The Fords secured four spots in the top-nine, totaling 37 points to edge second-place Johns Hopkins (45) for the team crown. JHU snapped Haverford's five-year title run at the 2019 CC championship, but the Fords bounced back in a big way last fall. The 37 points for Haverford was the highest ever point total for a team champion in the 28-year history of the event, showing the quality of depth throughout the conference among CC squads.
Haverford's 24 team titles are the most among teams across all 24 Centennial sports. Hopkins (2) and Dickinson (2) are the only two other teams to have won CC men's cross country crowns.
Two teams enter this Saturday's championship ranked nationally in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) rankings, with Johns Hopkins (8) and Haverford (15) representing the CC in the national poll. Five teams are ranked regionally, with CC teams now split up into two different regions with the regional realignment that took effect last fall. In the Metro region, Haverford (1), Swarthmore (2) and Ursinus (10) are ranked, while Hopkins (1) and Dickinson (4) have earned spots in the Mid-Atlantic region.
On the individual level, 10 All-Centennial runners are back in the field this year, headlined by Haverford's Ryan Kredell, the only two-time honoree of the group. Kredell finished as the runner-up at last year's meet, finishing 10 seconds behind champion and eventual All-American Christopher Scharf of Dickinson. Kredell, the CC Rookie of the Year in 2019, has put together another strong campaign this fall with a trio of CC Runner of the Week awards. Kredell has been the top Haverford finisher in each race this season.
JHU's Matthew Kleiman, Swarthmore's Aidan Cantine, and Haverford's Max Brelig also return as top-five finishers from a season ago, while JHU's Tommy Li also earned first-team all-conference recognition in 2021 with a sixth-place finish (the top seven finishers earn first team honors). Returning second team All-CC performers from last fall include Haverford's Peter Buckley and Nico Tripeny, JHU's Gavin McElhennon and Charles Teeter, and Swarthmore's Atticus Hempel.
A host of other talented runners from around the conference are also set to compete this weekend, including 19 total that earned all-region accolades last year. Individuals on other teams to keep an eye on this weekend include Dickinson's Teddy Mercer, Gettysburg's Connor Elliott, McDaniel's Wyatt Farace, F&M's Noah Hall, Muhlenberg's Adam Stefan, and Ursinus' Tucker McGrath.