The Emory women’s and men’s cross country teams ran top-notch races on Nov. 10, claiming an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III championships. The women finished first and men claimed second at the NCAA South/Southeast Regional Championships this past weekend at the Clara Bowl Course at Berry College (Ga.).
The Emory women competed against 32 teams. The Eagles ended with a total of 83 points, comfortably ahead of the runner-up, Centre College (Ky.), who recorded 106 points. Washington and Lee University (Va.) rounded out the top three with 116 points. Emory finished first for the fourth time in the past five seasons, the 28th straight season that the Eagles finished second or better at the Regional Championships.
Senior Kaylee Slade, who spearheaded the Eagles with a 6K time of 22:55 and earned seventh place overall, commended the Eagles’ overall performance in the tournament.
“I think that [the team’s consistency] definitely represents how good of an institution that [Emory] is,” Slade said. “We can offer a great education, [and] the people [also] commit to the team well.”
The Eagles featured six of the top 35 overall runners, all of whom earned all-region honors. Senior Kayla O’Shea followed Slade with a time of 23:16, good for 13th place. Sophomore Carrie McIntyre was Emory’s third overall runner and 17th in the field with a time of 23:28. Sophomore Susie Martin finished at No. 20, and freshman Zoe Friedman finished at No. 26 as the team’s last scorers. Sophomore Abby Durfee and senior Maeve Andrews rounded the Eagles’ group of seven in 31st and 47th place, respectively.
Assistant Coach Jordan Schilit praised the leadership of the seniors regarding the consistency of the team.
“[They’ve] been great leaders and really helped bring along the younger runners,” Schilit said. “The group dynamic has been really good.”
On the men’s side, Emory recorded 90 points, good for second behind Rhodes College (Tenn.) with 71 points. Berea College (Ky.) completed the top three schools with 107 points.
All five Emory scorers ranked in the top 35 runners, earning all-region honors. Junior Luis Torres ran a season-best 8K time of 26:05, good for 10th place overall, his second time leading the Eagles this season since the JSU Foothills Invitational on Sep. 29. Sophomore Jack Whetstone tied his personal best time of 26:15, finishing 15th overall. Senior Bennett Shaw followed with a season-best time of 26:19, 17th on the board. Junior Sam Branson and sophomore Matt Dillon rounded out the Eagles in 20th and 28th place, respectively.
The team is now gearing up for a busy weekend ahead. Slade said the team keeps itself motivated even during the grueling season with rest.
“[We’re] spending a lot of time recovering,” Slade said. “We are decreasing our mileage a lot but keeping ourselves motivated with lots of spirit activities.”
The championship this weekend will be held in Winneconne, Wis. The conditions are expected to be very cold and quite different from what the team normally races. But Schilit explained that the team should not have any trouble.
“We haven’t had super cold conditions,” Schilit said. “But on the flip side, if you run through super hot conditions, that is running through adversity. That’s still [going to] toughen you up. They should be mentally prepared to run hard.”
Both teams will compete in the NCAA Division III Championships on Nov. 17.