Emory Cross Country Teams to Compete at NCAA Championships
The Emory University men's and women's cross country teams close
out the 2008 season on Saturday when they compete at the NCAA
Championships. This year's championship will be hosted
by Hanover College (IN) and held at L.S. Ayers Complex. The
men's 8K race begins at 11:00 a.m., and will be followed by the
women's 6K competition at noon.
Each championship race will include 32 teams, with seven runners per squad, and 56 individuals from additional schools. The 32 squads in each race include 16 teams, two from eight regions, who automatically qualified following their finishes at the regional championships. In addition, the NCAA national committee selected 16 at-large teams from among the top five teams in each regional meet. The top seven individual competitors in each regional race, not associated with a qualifying team, also earned a place in the championship field.
The Emory men's team, ranked 22nd nationally, earned its spot at the national championship after coming in second out of 19 teams at the South/Southeast Regional. Juniors Charles Meade (Wellesley, MA) and Tommy Fyffe (Cincinnati, OH) spearheaded the strong effort by coming in fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 152-runner field. All five of the team's scorers earned all-region honors including junior Paul Winterhalter (Ardomore, PA), who crossed the finish line in the No. 8 position, senior Nate Ennist (Bethesda, MD) and junior Greg Decker (Rockville, MD). This year's trip to nationals marks the eighth appearance in the last 10 years to the Championships.
The Emory's women's side, holders of the No. 29 national ranking, finished second in the 24-team at the Regional Championships. Emory's top five finishers all ranked among the top 20 contestants in the 169-runner field and brought home all-region accolades. Senor Melissa Jones (Zionsville, IN) turned in a 6K time of 22:37, good for sixth place in the field. Junior Rebbeca Flink (Loudonville, NY) posted an eighth-place showing while freshman Tess Gallegos (Kennesaw, GA) came in tenth. Senior Natalie Waryck (Springfield, OH) and senior Megan Shaughnessy (San Antonio, TX) rounded out the team's scorers. Also earning all-region honors was sophomore Natalie Fenn (Evanston, IL). The Emory women's program has now qualified for nationals in 17 of the past 18 seasons. Last year the Eagles finished in 17th place.