WINGATE, N.C. – Led by junior Olivia Evans' 15th-place finish and with three other Trojans finishing among the top-25, the Anderson University women's cross country team finished fourth at the 27th South Atlantic Conference Championships, Saturday morning.
Wingate University hosted the 6K event on its campus for the fifth time since the inception of the conference in 1993.
"The women had a lot of catching up to do in the second half of the race after not getting out fast from the gun, but moved up well," said Anderson head coach Kevin Eagle. "The team has now turned all focus on NCAA Regionals in two weeks to qualify for NCAA Nationals."
With four runners finishing among the top-11, Queens, which is the top-ranked team in the Southeast Region, won its fourth straight conference title after snapping Wingate's three-year reign in 2016. The host Bulldogs, who are ranked second in the region, finished as runners-up after a sixth-place finish a year ago.
Regionally sixth-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne claimed third place Saturday morning, with the Trojans close behind in fourth place. Catawba finished fifth, with Tusculum and Carson-Newman in sixth and seventh, respectively. Mars Hill, Lincoln Memorial, Newberry, Coker and league-newcomer UVa-Wise rounded out the 12-team field.
Evans, a native of Boiling Springs, S.C., captured Honorable Mention All-SAC honors by finishing 15th in a time of 23:22.6, marking the third consecutive year that she has earned all-conference accolades. Classmate Olivia Rish collected all-conference recognition for the second straight year by claiming 16th place in a time of 23:27.0.
Freshman Rebecca Ward earned a spot on the SAC All-Freshman Team and also garnered Honorable Mention All-SAC honors by pacing a trio of Trojan freshmen in their first collegiate race at the distance. She finished 17th in a time of 23:28.2.
Senior Kelsey Horner narrowly missed earning all-conference recognition after claiming 22nd place in a time of 23:44.0. Sophomore Melea Sangl crossed the finish line in 28th place in a time of 24:11.0, with freshman Aubrey Stoddard claiming 31st place in a time of 24:25.0.
Junior Hannah Beach posted a time of 24:26.9 and finished in 33rd place in a time of 24:26.9, while sophomore Kamryn Osterbind crossed the finish line in 43rd place in a time of 25:24.2. Freshman Autumn Bladen (26:43.7) was 57th in a time of 26:43.7 and junior Natalie Ardis finished 59th by covering the distance in a personal-best time of 27:04.1.
The Trojans are scheduled to get back on the course in two weeks (Nov. 9) at the 2019 NCAA Southeast Region Championships, which will also be hosted by the Bulldogs on the same course.