University of Mount Olive placed a spot ahead of its regional ranking, finishing sixth out of 27 teams at the 2015 NCAA Division II Women's Cross Country Southeast Regional Saturday at Wingate, N.C. The Trojans tied for their second best regional finish in school history. The 6k event was hosted by Wingate University.
Course conditions were wet, slick and muddy thanks to overnight rain and continued intermittent rain throughout the race.
"We've trained in this weather before, but you can never be fully prepared to run through puddles that are too big to jump through," said Julia Bridges, who finished 87th out of 182 runners. "But we knew it was coming, so that was okay."
"I'm from Arizona, so I've never had to compete in weather like this," said Rebecca Farnsley, who finished 45th. "But we've trained in rain and mud, so we were prepared."
Bailee Henry was the Trojans' top finisher, placing 28th and missing All-Region honors by only three spots. Kelsey Valentine was 34th and Paulena Kremling finished 48th to complete Mount Olive's scoring. Emily Shaw placed 110th and Mireia Sune finished 139th.
The Trojans, which entered the Regional ranked No. 7 in the final USTFCCCA Southeast Region Top 10, finished with 242 points to edge out seventh-place Anderson by five points. Montevallo won with a score of 30 points, followed by Wingate in second and Queens in third. The top three schools advance to the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championship.
Mount Olive's best-ever NCAA II Regional finish was third place in 2011. That year, only the top two teams advanced to the National Championship. The Trojans finished sixth in 2012.
Shaw is the lone senior on this year's squad.