Cross Country Completes Season At NCAA Regionals
Nov. 14, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Running against a field with numerous nationally ranked opponents, the East Carolina men's and women's cross country teams finished their seasons at the NCAA Southeast Regional at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park Saturday morning. The men's team came in 25th out of 35 squads while the women placed 24th of 35. Freshman Dillon Hawley and sophomore Tara Wilson paced their respective teams for the third consecutive meet.
The men's finish matched their place at the regional from a season ago and the program's best performance since coming in 17th in 2004. The women slipped seven spots after claiming 17th place in 2008.
William & Mary's men's team, ranked eighth in the country, won the team championship with a total of 49 points. It was the Tribe's second straight regional crown, earning them a 13th consecutive NCAA appearance. Finishing second and claiming the other automatic berth to the NCAA Championship was No. 16 N.C. State. Individually for the men, Samuel Chelanga, a junior from Liberty, took home the title, finishing the 10K in 29:31.25.
For the women, 15th-ranked Duke clinched the championship with 69 points. Junior Catherine White of No. 19 Virginia won the meet with a time of 20:03.90 in the 6K, helping the Cavaliers place second and earn a trip to the NCAA Championship.
For the Pirates, as he has in the team's past five meets, Hawley led the men by finishing the race in 31:29.19. He placed 36th overall, just missing out on being an All-Region Performer, as the top 25 runners earned that honor. Hawley's time in the first 10K race of his career was the fourth best in program history, and first to break into the ECU top-five rankings since 2003.
Redshirt sophomore Antoine Berlin was next to cross the finish line for the men, placing 109th overall with a time of 33:03.13. Berlin's time also earned him a place on ECU's top 10K-performance list, as he turned in the 18th-best mark.
On the women's side, Wilson finished the 6K in 22:17.43 to lead the way and place her 67th overall. She improved 15 spots from a year ago at the regional and also turned in the 12th-best time in program history.
Senior Samantha Lichtner, running in the final race of her career, placed second on the squad and 104th overall with a time of 22:48.63. The time was a personal-best in the 6K and the 20th-fastest for the Pirate program. Lichtner improved 45 spots from her 149th-place finish at the NCAA meet last season.
Sophomore Amanda Lapp was ECU's next finisher, completing the race in 22:57.72, good for 113th. She cut nearly two minutes off her time from last season's regional and improved 90 places.
The future looks bright for both squads, as the men's and women's teams will each lose only one senior heading into next season.