CHARLESTON, S.C. - After one of the most successful Conference Championships in Buccaneer history, the men's and women's cross country teams are eager to hit the hills in Virginia all over again. The NCAA Southeast Regional Championship in Charlottesville, Va., will be the last chance for the teams to run their hearts out in the cross country season of 2017. The female Buccaneers will take on the 6k at 10:30 a.m. and the male Buccaneers will face their first 10k of the season at 11:30 a.m., on Friday, November 10th.
"We had three All-Conference athletes at the Conference Championship. This is a really good testimony of how hard everyone worked this year, and when we go out for regionals we have a much better idea of what tough racing looks like," said Jim Stintzi, Director of Track & Field and Cross Country.
Last year's winner, Amon Terer (Campbell), crossed the finish line in 28:48, only 11 seconds off the regional record. Previous results and the races leading up to regionals reveal that the Buccaneers are not only up against notoriously fast individuals and impressive records but will also face extremely competitive teams that can only be challenged by a tough-spirited team effort.
"I'm looking for strong races from our leaders - Fearghal Curtin and Jeryck Wilson. I think they are both ready for breakout performances. Jaymee Domoney has been extremely consistent as our third man, and I would also like to see our fourth and fifth runners close the gap and run with him. If we can do those things - we'll surprise a lot of teams in the region, and lay the groundwork for great things to come," said Stintzi.
The man of consistency, Jaymee Domoney, believes that the unified front of Buccaneers will see another successful race in Virginia.
"Appalachian State is ranked 15th, and we were only two points behind them at the High Point meet. We should be in the top 15," reasoned Domoney.
Last year, Campbell, Louisville, NC State, Eastern Kentucky, and Virginia, squeezed two individual runners each into the top 12 in the men's 10k. In addition, all of the teams placed in the top 12 in the team ranking, with NC State placing first, scoring 90 points in total.
"It's a really tough competition. We need to focus on being tough and staying there. I think we can challenge many teams out there," said Jeryck Wilson, who received Big South All-Conference and All-Academic honors at the Conference Championship two weeks ago.
On the women's side, Annie Bothma (Coastal Carolina), finished first in last year's 6k and clocked a 20:15, just under 20 seconds off the regional record. Buccaneers Georgina Russell and Taylor Barnes are excited to enter the battle and take down as many runners as possible along the hilly course at Panorama Farms.
"Coach Aaron Iaun said that I look stronger than ever and I think I am in better shape than I thought. I am really excited for regionals and to give everything that is left in me," said Russell, who earned herself an All-Conference award at the Conference Championship.
The Buccaneers are heading off to Charlottesville at 8 a.m. on Thursday, to get ready for the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship. The women will shoot off at 10:30 a.m. and the male Buccaneers will face the notorious Virginian 10k at 11:30 a.m., on Friday, November 10th.
Live results can be seen at: http://flashresults.com/2018_Meets/xc/NCAASE/