Women Finish Program-Best 11th At NCAA Southeast Regional
Nov. 12, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Running against a field with numerous nationally ranked opponents, the East Carolina women's cross country team finished its record-setting season with the program's highest-ever finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park Saturday. The squad came in 11th of 35 with senior Brittany Copeland pacing the Pirates with her 22nd place overall finish.
The previous high placement for the Pirate women was a 13th-place showing in 2001. East Carolina also made a 10-spot jump from a year ago as five of the team's seven participants set career-best times.
Copeland set the ECU program record for a 6K with her 20:59.9 time. The Stafford, Va., native broke her own record, established last month at the Panorama Farms Invitational, when she ran the 6K in 21:20.64. The 22nd-place finish also earned Copeland All-Southeast Region honors for the second time in her career as she came in 17th in 2008 and the top 25 runners are honored. Copeland is the only all-region honoree in East Carolina women's history.
Senior Tara Wilson finished second on the squad and 61st overall with a time of 21:51.5, the ninth-best mark in Pirate history.
Junior Brooke Kott and senior Amanda Lapp finished back-to-back at 82nd and 83rd. Kott clocked out in a career-best 22:07.9. The mark was also the 12th fastest in ECU program history. Lapp was just behind with a 22:08.4 time, the 13th fastest on the Pirate record chart.
Sophomores Stefanie Fresenius and Chelsea Hollingsworth turned in East Carolina's final top-120 performances, claiming 116th and 118th, respectively. Fresenius clocked out with a career-low 22:35.1 mark while Hollingsworth's time was also a career-best at 22:38.4. It was Fresnius' first NCAA Regional appearance while Hollingsworth improved 22 places from her 2010 showing.
Yet another sophomore, Bjork Olsen, wrapped up the ECU contingent, finishing in 22:57.5 to take 139th place, a 41-spot improvement from last year's NCAA Regional.
Virginia's women's squad, ranked 21st in the country, won the team championship for the second-straight season with a total of 107 points. It is the Cavaliers sixth trip to the NCAA Championship in the last seven years. Finishing second and claiming the other automatic berth to the NCAA Championship was No. 20 North Carolina State. Individually Kendra Schaaf, a senior from North Carolina, won the meet with a time of 19:52.9.