Big South Places a Pair of Runners on All-Region Team

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Edwards, Klugh Earn XC All-Region Honors
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Liberty redshirt juniors Zac Edwards and Jennifer Klugh both garnered all-region recognition, highlighting the Flames' showing at the 2011 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Cross Country Championships, Saturday morning at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The Liberty men's squad finished 11th overall, while the Lady Flames came in 22nd.

Edwards made it eight straight years that Liberty has boasted at least one men's all-region performer with his 23rd-place individual finish in the men's 10K championship race. His performance helped the Flames place 11th out of 32 teams with a score of 294 points.

Liberty was the top Big South men's team on the day, coming in four places and 125 points ahead of High Point. No. 14 N.C. State took the men's team title with 68 points, easily outdistancing No. 20 Eastern Kentucky, which placed second with a score of 139.

In the women's 6K, Klugh earned her second straight all-region medal, thanks to a 20th-place showing and a clocking of 20:57.5 that narrowly missed her own school record. The Lady Flames came in 22nd in the 35-team field, totaling 624 points.

Liberty was second among Big South women's competitors, trailing conference champion High Point's 18th-place finish and score of 506 points. No. 21 Virginia won a tight battle with No. 20 N.C. State atop the women's team standings, winning the regional title by a score of 107-113.

Despite the strong performances by Edwards and Klugh, neither of them was able to qualify for the 2011 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships as individuals. As a result, Liberty will not have a representative at the NCAA national meet for the first time since 2003.

Men's Meet Recap
Running his first 10K in a Liberty uniform, Edwards crossed the finish line in a time of 30:50.4, placing 23rd out of 218 competitors. His top 25 finish made him the ninth different Liberty men's cross country runner ever to earn Division I cross country all-region accolades.

The Big South men's individual champion two weeks ago, Edwards was again the conference's top finisher on Saturday. He finished 21 seconds in front of High Point's Patrick Crawford.

Just 12 seconds after Crawford finished his race, Liberty's No. 2, 3 and 4 runners came across within a 26-second span. David Ricksecker placed 47th overall and third among Big South runners, posting a time of 31:23.7.

Sophomores Josh MacDonald and Caleb Edmonds followed in 61st and 65th place, respectively, with both runners making major improvements from the previous year's NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships. MacDonald's time of 31:44.1 was 1:08 faster than his effort as a freshman, while Edmonds sliced his freshman year clocking of 34:31.2 all the way down to 31:49.5 on Saturday.

Making a similarly impressive jump from 2010 to 2011 was Isaac Wendland, who closed out the Flames' top five. Last year, the Iowa native came in 153rd at this meet in 34:07.0. This time around, Wendland cracked the top 100 with a 98th-place finish, stopping the clock in 32:30.3.

Liberty's No. 6 and 7 finishers, Nate Jones and Zach Barker, both made their regional debuts on Saturday. Jones finished 144th in 33:32.1, while Barker was 183rd in a time of 34:47.4.

Women's Meet Recap
Utilizing her usual strategy of moving up through the field during the latter stages of the race, Klugh passed 25 runners during the final half of Saturday's 6K. As a result, the Buckeye State native was able to join Heather Sagan as the only Lady Flames ever to earn a pair of NCAA Division I women's cross country all-region honors with her 20th-place finish.

Klugh's official time of 20:57.5 was just two seconds off the 6K school record of 20:55.5 she set on the same course at the 2010 NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Championships. Klugh now owns the four fastest women's cross country 6K performances in program history, all of which fall between 20:55.5 and 21:01.6.

The Big South individual champion, Klugh finished well ahead of all conference competitors on Saturday. She came across the finish line 57 seconds before the next Big South finisher, High Point's Kayleigh Perry.

Fellow junior Khristina Kanagy was Liberty's next women's finisher, as her 22:26.7 clocking was good for 105th place out of 240 runners. Betel Yosef posted nearly the exact same time and finishing place as she had a year ago at the regional meet, coming in 134th in a time of 22:52.2

Alyssa Allen served as the Lady Flames' No. 4 runner for the first time this season, thanks to a 23:43.6 clocking and a 186th-place finish. Meanwhile, Liberty's No. 5, 6 and 7 women's finishers all competed at the regional meet for the first time on Saturday.

Sophomore Katie Russo posted a 23:57.1 for 196th place. Freshman Jacy Christiansen followed closely behind in the 198th spot, recording a 23:58.7. Fellow freshman Meredith Mistretta wrapped up the Lady Flames' pack, completing her race in 24:19.7 for 214th place.

Liberty will wrap up its 2011 cross country season by competing in the IC4A and ECAC Division I Cross Country Championships for the first time in recent history. The meet will be held Nov. 19 at VanCortlandt Park in New York City. The IC4A men's 5-mile championship will get the day started at 10:30 a.m., followed by the ECAC women's 5K at 11:15.

Campbell Cross Country Wraps up Season at Southeast Regional
LOUISVILLE, KY.-Rachel Deline highlighted Campbell's efforts Saturday in the NCAA Southeast Regional at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park, wrapping up the 2011 cross country season.

Deline, a senior from Belleville, Ontario, posted a 6K personal best time, clocking in at 22:16.3 to take 91st. CU sophomore Claudia Mundy also recorded a personal best mark, finishing 120th with her time of 22:40.0.

On the men's side, sophomore Morgan Timiney placed 105th, also collecting a career-best time with his 32:35.3 10K mark.

Virginia took the women's title, while North Carolina's Kendra Schaaf won the individual championship with her time of 19:52.9.

Ryan Hill of North Carolina State earned the men's overall title with a 29:48.8 mark, leading the Wolfpack to the team championship as well.

Keydets Wrap Up 2011 at NCAA Regional Championships
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The VMI women's cross country program competed in its final event of the year Saturday, contesting the NCAA Regional Championships at E.P. Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky.

Emily Dinning was VMI's top runner for the second straight meet, finishing 149th in a time of 23:04, while Leah Schubel was 185th in 23:40 over the 6K course. In the team standings, the Keydets were 33rd in an event won by Virginia.

Hannah Dickinson (206th/24:09), Molly Western (218th/24:33), Nina Srikongos (219th/24:33) and Lindsey Carty (237th/26:58) wrapped up the VMI competitors Saturday.
 
Keydets Conclude Season at NCAA Regional Championships
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Noah Hagos posted a 10K cross country personal best, leading the VMI men's cross country team in action Saturday morning at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, contested at E.P. Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky.

"Noah Hagos wrapped up his season well," said VMI head coach Paul Spangler. "It's been a very good year for him, and we're glad to see how much he's accomplished this year. In terms of the team's performance as a whole, we were without Felix Kitur and Dean Gonsalves, who have been two of our top five runners all year, so that certainly hurt our team score."

Hagos ran a 32:06 effort on the 10K course, finishing 78th. Ian McGinn was VMI's #2 runner, finishing in 32:53 to place 114th, while Andrey Dmitriev ran a 33:00 and came home 123rd. Hartnel Paultre (33:50/155th), Will Thompson (35:06/190th) and Michael McDonald (36:01/204th) rounded out the VMI competitors. In the team standings, VMI finished 24th overall, as the event was won by N.C. State. 

HPU Women's Cross Country Finishes 18th in NCAA Regional
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The High Point University women's cross county team placed 18th in the NCAA Southeast Regional to close out the 2011 season on Saturday in Louisville, Ky. The team was led by sophomore Kayleigh Perry (Myerstown, Pa./Eastern Lebanon County) for the fifth time in six races. She placed 68th.

"We moved up one spot so it was a step forward, we were more competitive than last year," said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. "Our girls collectively ran much faster than last year but the competition did as well. Kayleigh had another strong race. Audrey Malloy went out aggressively and paid the price a little bit. I'd rather have her do that than hanging back. Leah Anne Wirfel moved through the race nicely after having injuries this year."

Perry placed 68th in a time of 21:54.6 for the 6K course, a career-best by 30 seconds for that distance. Close behind was sophomore Audrey Malloy (Pennsburg, Pa./Upper Perkiomen), who placed 76th in 21:59.7.

Junior Kelsey Hunt (Bedford, N.H./Manchester West) was the third finisher for High Point, placing 103rd in 22:25.0. Junior Kelsey Paine (Daniels, W.Va./Shady Spring) placed 133rd in 22:50.2 and freshman Leah Anne Wirfel (New Germany, Pa./Forest Hills) placed 136th in 22:55.1

Senior Kelsey Fraser (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport) finished out her cross country career with a 143rd place finish in a time of 23:00.1. Freshman Sarah Dorrell (Blacksburg, Va./Blacksburg) was the Panthers' seventh finisher with a 203rd-place finish in a time of 24:05.2.

High Point improved one spot from its 19th-place finish at last year's regional championship. Virginia won the meet with NC State and North Carolina close behind. North Carolina's Kendra Schaaf won the race. HPU was the top Big South finisher in 18th, beating out Liberty (22nd) and Coastal Carolina (25th).

"We didn't have the close spread we had at the conference championship and that made the difference this week. We return the bulk of our team so this is something to build off for the future," said Esposito.

The meet closed out the Panthers' best women's cross country season ever, as High Point won its first Big South Championship on Oct. 30 with five finishers in the meet's top 10.  Perry, Malloy, Hunt, Paine and Fraser all earned All-Conference honors and Fraser was named Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Fraser was the only senior running in HPU's top seven this season.

Crawford Leads HPU Men's Cross Country to 15th at Regional
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The High Point University men's cross country team closed out the season with a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional on Saturday in Louisville, Ky. The Panthers were paced by sophomore Patrick Crawford (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth), who placed 38th.

"As a whole it was a good day but not a great day. Our goal was top 10 and we weren't there," said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. "Patrick engaged really well. He and Jacob Smith ran significantly faster than last year. It was a quick race with perfect weather. The course was in really good shape so the times were all fast."

Crawford led High Point in four of his six races this season, finishing the 10K course in 31:11.9. Smith, a junior who consistently paired with Crawford in HPU's top two this year, placed 76th in 32:03.9.

Sophomore John Yankello (Sewickley, Pa./Quaker Valley) benefitted from the additional 2,000 meters and was High Point's third finisher, coming in 125th overall in 33:02.1. Senior Mike Ali (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern) finished his cross country career with a 131st place finish and a time of 33:11.6.

Freshman Reece Ayers (Tunkhannock, Pa./Tunkhannock) lost a shoe about 4,000 meters into the 10K race and struggled to a 165th-place finish. He was HPU's sixth finisher in a time of 34:10.6. Junior Dakota Peachee (Garner, N.C./West Johnston) has struggled with injuries over the last month and didn't finish the race.

NC State dominated the race with 68 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Eastern Kentucky and third-place finisher William & Mary. Liberty was the top Big South school in 11th place followed by HPU in 15th and VMI in 24th. NC State's Ryan Hill won the race.

Darmody and Ali were the only seniors in HPU's top seven at the end of the season. In addition to the five who will return from Saturday's race, the Panthers will bring back six other runners for next cross country season including freshman Jeff LaCoste (Amherst, N.H./Bishop Guertin).

"The numbers we're returning along with the recruits we hope to add for next year are very encouraging," said Esposito. "It's time to get our consistent volume up to keep building for the future."

High Point finished second at the Big South Championship for the fifth year in a row. Crawford, Smith and Darmody earned All-Conference honors and Darmody was named Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Personal Records Highlight Chants Day at NCAA Regional
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Behind four personal record performances, the Coastal Carolina's women's cross country team finished 25th at the 6-kilometer NCAA Southeast Regional in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 12.

Virginia and North Carolina State finished first and second, respectively, earning the regional's automatic qualifying spots at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Kendra Schaaf of North Carolina won the meet with a time of 19:52.

Christian Johnson, an All-Big South Conference performer, paced Coastal in the meet for the fourth time this season . The senior crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 22:10 to capture 88th place in the 240 competitor field.

Emily Marchini finished second for the Chants as she placed 126th with a 22:42 clip. Classmates Seanna Kautz and Shelby Nicosia recorded identical personal-best times of 23:07 to place 149th and 150th. Jessica Dennison rounded out the Coastal scorers with a 6K personal-best of 23:17 to place 158th.

Sophomore Stephanie Taylor (23:26) and junior Janel Reeves(23:47) also represented Coastal Carolina in the meet.

"I am very proud of the way our team competed today," said head coach Alan Connie. "With such a young team our performance today will provide a great building block for what we look to accomplish in the coming years."

The Chanticleers will now turn their efforts toward the indoor track and field season which begins in January.

Coastal Carolina Men's Cross Country Gains Experience at NCAA Regional
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The young Coastal Carolina men's cross country team gained valuable experience as competitors at the 10-kilometer NCAA Southeast Regional meet in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday morning.

North Carolina State and Eastern Kentucky finished first and second, respectively, earning the regional's automatic qualifying spots at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Ryan Hill of N.C. State won the meet with a time of 29:48.8.

Freshman Evan Niciphorled Coastal across the finish line in his first collegiate 10K race with a time of 32:34.2. Niciphor's time was good for a 104th place finish in the 218 competitor field.

"Evan ran well for his first 10K race of his collegiate career," said head coach Jeff Jacobs. "I am glad to see him run well today and finish his superb freshman season on a high note."

Classmate Joseph Keitt followed Niciphor to turn in the Chants' second best time of 33:43.8 to place 151st overall. Sophomore Cameron Wells, also competing in his first 10K event, turned in a time of 35:21.4. Tyler Cummings and Spencer Lange wrapped up the Chanticleer scorers with time of 35:35.1 and 36:14.5, respectively.

Freshman Zach Hensel (36:43.7) and senior Rob Delviscio (38:38.7) also represented Coastal Carolina in the meet.

"This was one of the most competitive regional races I can recall," said Jacobs. "The field was very deep and full of great talent. With us being such a young team, our guys were able to gain great experience competing against some of the best competition in the country." The Chanticleers will now turn their efforts toward the outdoor track and field season which begins in the spring.

GWU Runners Compete at Southeast Regional Meet
Louisville, Kent. - Gardner-Webb's men's and women's cross country teams ran at the NCAA Southeast Regional meet, hosted by the University of Louisville Saturday morning.

For the women, redshirt junior Elisabeth Sawyer was the top runner for Gardner-Webb at the regional meet, finishing the 6K race in 23:40.0. Sawyer was followed by junior Ariel Zimmerman, who finished the course in 23:59.7. Redshirt junior Ellie Glunk was next for GWU, crossing the finish line at 25:48.3, followed by Katie Spiro and Ivana Hughes, who finished with times of 26:03.4 and 26:34.4 respectively.

Sophomore Mike McClay, who has been GWU's top runner in each meet this season, finished the 10K race in 34:36.0 to pace the Runnin' Bulldogs on the day. Sophomore Justin Loy was next for Gardner-Webb, running the course 36:44.8. Sophomore Trey Crook followed with a time of 37:03.3. Also running for Gardner-Webb at the regional meet were sophomores Jarrett Willis and Drew Ford, finishing in 39:56.3 and 41:05.7 respectively.

The top two teams for both men and women at the Southeast Regional (women: Virginia and NC State; men: NC State and Eastern Kentucky) qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.