The NCAA Division I Northeast Regional Conference final, scheduled to be run on the Audubon Golf Course in Buffalo, NY on Friday, November 15, was moved to the roads on the SUNY Buffalo campus because of unsafe conditions on the golf course. So on Friday, 500 runners lined up for (for most) their first-ever road race.
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) November 15, 2019
The decision received a lot of scrutiny particularly from Canadians as several Canadian cross-country meets have been run in snowy, icy conditions this year (OFSAA, Can West and CCAA’s just to name a few.)
— UAlbany Sports (@UAlbanySports) November 15, 2019
This change of events made for one of the strangest cross-country meets we’ve ever seen. For example, the women’s winner Hannah Reinhardt of Albany was wearing Nike Next%’s and the start line was in a parking lot.
This is what the NCAA Northeast Regional cross country finish line in Buffalo looks like: pic.twitter.com/hRnkan62Gx
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) November 15, 2019
The first Canadians across the line were Jocelyn Chau of Yale in 50th in 20:47 (6K) and Ehab El-Sandali of Iona in 29:02 (10K). El-Sandali’s performance is extremely impressive and got him a ninth place finish. For some context the Canadian 10K record ia 28:17 and was set in 1987–maybe El-Sandali shouldn’t count out the roads in the future.
Next Saturday are the NCAA Division I Cross-Country Championships. The event will be hosted in Terre Haute, Indiana where weather forecast is free of snow and ice.