Women's Cross Country Ranked No. 10 In Southeast Region
Sept. 28, 2011
GREENVILLE, N.C. - On the heels of its third-straight ECU Pirate Invitational title, the East Carolina women's cross country squad is ranked No. 10 in the Southeast Region, according to this week's release by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. It is the first time in program history the women have cracked the regional rankings.
The women have finished fifth or higher at all three meets this season, claiming last Friday's home event title after a second-place showing at the Wolfpack Invitational Sept. 16. This week, the program also had its first Conference USA Female Athlete-of-the-Week winner since 2002 as senior Brittany Copeland received the award Tuesday.
Copeland won the ECU Pirate Invitational championship with a 5K time of 17:40.02, tied for the sixth-fastest mark in program history. Of the top 16 women to cross the finish line last Friday, all but one was a Pirate.
Already this year, nine of the 17 East Carolina runners who have participated in a meet have established career-best times. Copeland has paced the Pirates in all three meets and ran the second-best 5K in program history at the Wolfpack Invitational, finishing in 17:15.7. The mark was just 15 seconds behind Johanna Allen's 2001 performance.
Seniors Amanda Lapp and Tara Wilson are building off strong junior campaigns and have been the team's other top two runners. Lapp has set personal-low 5K times the last two weeks and Wilson now owns five top-10 finishes after placing eighth at the Wolfpack Invitational and third at the Pirates' home meet.
In what is shaping up to be a banner year for Conference USA female squads, seven of the league's 12 teams are ranked this week with SMU and Tulsa holding the highest spots at fifth in the South Central and Midwest Regions, respectively. In ECU's region, in-state foes Duke and North Carolina hold the top two spots.
East Carolina's women return to action Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky.