The Emory University men's and women's cross country teams head into the homestretch of the season on Saturday (Nov. 16) when they compete at the NCAA South/Southeast Region Championships. This year's competitions will be held at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tennessee. The men's 8K race begins at 12:00 pm EST, followed by the women's 6K at 1:15 pm EST. Rhodes College will be serving as the host institution for this season's edition of the event.
There are eight regional championships being conducted around the country, with the top two men's and women's teams from each regional earning automatic bids to the NCAA National Championships on Saturday, Nov. 21, in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition, there will be 16 at-large teams selected for both the men's and women's championships.
The Emory women's team, ranked 28th nationally and second in the region, has recorded first-place efforts at the regional race 21 of the past 28 seasons. In 2018, the Eagles made the short trip to Rome, Georgia, and topped a 32-team field with 83 points, well ahead of runner-up Centre's 106 points. The Eagles boasted six all-region honorees last year. Four members of this season's team earned the honor last fall by finishing inside the top-35; Carrie McIntyre, Suzie Martin, Zoe Friedman, and Abby Durfee. This year's squad has been paced by junior Suzie Martin, who has ranked as the squad's No. 1 runner in each of the four meets that she has participated in. In her most recent outing, Martin raced to Second Team All-UAA honors after finishing ninth at the conference championships (Nov. 2). Earlier this season, Martin clocked a personal-best 6K time of 22:07 at the Rhodes Invitational, which was held at the same course that will host the NCAA Regionals this weekend, Shelby Farms Park.
The Emory's men's team is currently rated as the 30th-best team in DIII and resides behind Berea as the second-ranked program in the region. Last season, Emory posted a second-place effort out of 33 squads in Rome, coming up 19 points shy of first, which Rhodes had staked a claim to by placing three of their runners among the top-10. The Eagles saw all five of their scoring runners earn all-region kudos a year ago, including three members of the current team - Jack Whetstone, Sam Branson and Matthew Dillon. Whestone has acted as the squad leader the past couple of months, finishing as the top performing Eagle in five races. Two weeks ago, Whetstone was named to the All-UAA Second Team after placing 8th at the conference championships and covering his 8K in 25:07. The men's team has earned an automatic bid based on their performances at the NCAA Region Championships four out of the last six years.