ELON, N.C. – The Elon men’s and women’s cross country programs are set to compete in the NCAA Southeast Regional on Friday, Nov. 9, in Charlotte, N.C. Charlotte will host the event at McAlpine Park with the women’s 6K race starting at noon and the men’s 10K run beginning at 1:15 p.m.
The meet will feature 42 women’s teams and 40 men’s programs from the Southeast region competing for the regional crown and a chance to compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championship in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 17. The top two finishers receive automatic bids to the championships, while the others compete for one of the 13 at-large berths.
Both squads will look to improve off of their performance from last season’s regional championships. The women finished 21st, while the men took 23rd with six new times added to the all-time performance list.
The Elon women’s team has been consistently ranked in the Southeast region this season and sits at No.13 in the latest regional rankings. The Phoenix took second at the Southern Conference Championships, finishing behind Appalachian State by only four points. Freshman Elyse Bierut and sophomore Tereza Novotna ran the third and sixth fastest times, respectively, in school history at that meet. Bierut clocked in at 17:52.82 and in eighth overall to lead the women for the second straight meet, while Novotna had a time of 17:56.05 and crossed the line in 10th.
On the men’s side, Luis Vargas became the first male runner for Elon to earn first team All-SoCon recognition with his performance at the league championship meet. Vargas finished sixth in the men’s race with a time of 24:53.32. He was the top finisher for the men in last year’s regionals meet after running for a time of 32:34.0, third-best 10K mark in school history.
Virginia and N.C. State are the defending regional champions for the women and men, respectively. Other notable schools competing at the meet are SoCon foes Appalachian State, Davidson, Furman, UNCG, Wofford and The Citadel, along with ACC powers Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest.