ELON, N.C. – The Elon University cross country teams will travel to Earlysville, Va., for the site of the NCAA Division I Cross Country Southeast Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 15, hosted by the University of Virginia. The men’s 10K race is scheduled to begin at noon while the women’s 6K run is slated for a 1:15 p.m. start on the course at Panorama Farms.
The Phoenix women, who currently ranks No. 14th in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) Southeast regional standings, will look to surpass its highest finish ever of 16th at the meet, which was accomplished last season. Slated to race this Friday on the women’s side for the maroon and gold is senior Allyson Oram, juniors Haylee Dawe, Jenny Gallagher and Tereza Novotna, sophomores Elyse Bierut and Kaitlin Snapp and freshmen Kimberly Johansen and Shelby Cuddeback.
Oram became the first Elon female to receive first team All-Southern Conference honors in six years as she finished fifth overall at SoCon Championship meet on Nov. 2. The Marlborough, Mass., native ran a time of 17:56.74 in the women’s 5K race to help the Phoenix women to a runner-up finish – two points shy of the league title.
Bierut, Dawe, Novotna and Johansen also earned all-league honors with each runner being placed on the second team. Johansen also received All-SoCon Freshman laurels.
On the men’s side, Luis Vargas heads the Phoenix group that includes junior Ari Rotschild, senior Nick Schneider and freshman Ian O’Leary competing on Friday. Vargas has led the Phoenix in every race this season and has a chance to receive all-region honors and as well as competing for a potential trip to Nationals. The Angier, N.C., native recorded the highest finish by an Elon male at the SoCon Championships after finishing third in the men’s 8K race with a time of 24:52.92.
At last year’s regional championships, Vargas set a new school-record in the men’s 10K race with a time of 31:35.37. He finished 61st overall out of 228 competitors to help the maroon and gold to a 23rd-place standing.
Duke and Virginia are the defending regional champions for the women and men, respectively. The Virginia women enters the championship meet currently ranked No. 1 in the Southeast Region and No. 11 overall in the nation.
Thirty-one teams earn berths to the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Nov. 23. The top two teams from each of the nine regions automatically qualify for the Championships. Another 13 at-large teams will be added to the field and announced on Saturday, Nov. 16. In addition, four individual competitors from each region, who are not part of qualifying teams, will also earn their way into the championships field. These individuals must finish in the top 25 at the regional championship to qualify. Additionally, the NCAA committee will choose two individuals at large.