ANDERSON, S.C. – On the heels of a fourth-place runner-up finish at the 2019 South Atlantic Conference Championships two weeks ago, the Anderson women's cross country team will head back to the Tar Heel State for the NCAA Southeast Regionals, which will be hosted by Wingate on the Bulldogs' campus.
After becoming the first cross country team in school history to qualify for the NCAA National Championships with a runner-up finish at the 2017 NCAA Southeast Region Championships – also hosted by Wingate - the Trojans made a repeat appearance on the national stage by claiming third at the NCAA Regionals last season in Oakwood, Ga.
The championships start at 9 a.m. with the women's 6k race and will be followed at 10:15 a.m. by the men's 10k.
The top three teams from the regional meet will automatically advance to the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, in Sacramento, Calif. The top five individuals who are not part of a qualifying team will also automatically advance to the championship and the next eight individuals will be selected at-large.
The Trojans, who were ranked sixth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) DII Regional Rankings, will contend with regionally top-ranked Queens, which is receiving votes in the national poll. Wingate was ranked second regionally, with Flagler at No. 3. North Georgia was fourth in the poll, with Lenoir-Rhyne just ahead of the Trojans in fifth place.
Junior Olivia Evans paced the Trojans with a 15th-place finish two weeks ago at the SAC Championships and captured Honorable Mention All-SAC honors. Classmate Olivia Rish also collected all-conference recognition claiming 16th place. Rebecca Ward earned a spot on the SAC All-Freshman Team and also garnered Honorable Mention All-SAC honors by finished 17th.
Senior Kelsey Horner claimed 22nd, while sophomore Melea Sangl crossed the finish line in 28th place, with freshman Aubrey Stoddard claiming 31st. Junior Hannah Beach finished in 33rd place, with sophomore Kamryn Osterbind crossing the finish line in 43rd place. Freshman Autumn Bladen was 57th and junior Natalie Ardis finished 59th.
Queens is the two-time defending region champion, while Flagler claimed the runner-up spot a year ago, just ahead of the Trojans. Mount Olive finished fourth.