GREENSBORO, N.C. â€“ The regionâ€™s top small-college distance runners are headed to Guilford College this weekend for the running of the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Championships.
Representatives from 36 womenâ€™s teams and 32 menâ€™s squads from Virginia to Texas compete this Saturday (11/14) on Guilfordâ€™s Meadows Course for berths in the Division III National Championship. The womenâ€™s six-kilometer race begins at 11:00 a.m. and is followed by the menâ€™s eight-kilometer event at noon.
The womenâ€™s field includes two teams ranked among the top-35 squads in the current U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coachesâ€™ Association (USTFCCA) Division III National Rankings, as well as all 10 squads in the USTFCAA South/Southeast Poll. Rhodes College, ranked 29th in the nation and first in the region, boasts sophomore Taylor Stephens, who garnered All-America honors in 2008 with a 35th-place finish at the national championships. She won the 2008 South/Southeast Regional meet, the second of her three college titles in her career. Emory University, ranked 35th in the national poll and second in the region, has two team titles to its credit this season. Junior Jenny Feinberg set the Meadows Course six-kilometer record (23:15.68) Oct. 17 when she led the Eagles to the Quaker Invitational team title.
Emoryâ€™s menâ€™s squad enters the regional meet ranked 13th in the USTFCCA national rankings and first in the region. The Eagles have two titles among six top-three team finishes in as many meets this year. Senior Charlie Meade, a 2008 All-American, earned First Team All-University Athletic Association honors with a third-place finish at the UAA Championships Oct. 31. Teammate Tommy Fyffe, a Second Team All-UAA honoree, won the 2009 Foothills Invitational and the season-opening Sewanee Invitational.
Lynchburg College senior Ricky Flynn, who captured his third straight Old Dominion Athletic Conference crown Oct. 31, joins Stephens and Meade as returning All-Americans. He placed 14th at the 2008 NCAA Championships.
The top-two teams from both womenâ€™s and menâ€™s regional meets automatically advance to the national championship in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 21. The third-, fourth- and fifth-place regional finishers are eligible for at-large berths into the 32-team national championships field. In addition, the top-seven individuals at the regional meets advance to the national championships. All seven members of the two automatic qualifiers will be removed from the results and the remaining individuals not on a qualifying team will be renumbered to determine individual national qualifiers.
The South/Southeast Regional is one of eight sites across the nation hosting menâ€™s and womenâ€™s races Saturday.
The weekend officially begins Friday, Nov. 13 with a 6:00 p.m. dinner on Guilfordâ€™s campus featuring a presentation by 1964 United States Olympic gold medal-winning distance runner Billy Mills. The event is open to the public and tickets costing $15 per person in advance ($20 at the door) can be purchased through Guilfordâ€™s Track and Field Office at 336-734-3009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guilford College Athletics