The Emory men's and women's cross country teams both qualified for the NCAA DIII National Championships with their strong showings at the NCAA DIII South/Southeast Regional Championship on Saturday. The men's team emerged as region champion for the first time since 2015, while the women's team finished as the runner-up in Memphis, Tennessee. This season's event was hosted by Rhodes College and staged at Shelby Farms Park.
The Eagles recorded 41 points to win the men's 8K event, well ahead of Berea's total of 94 points. Washington and Lee ended up with 116 points to take third, as Lynchburg (139) and Rhodes (189) rounded out the top five teams.
All seven of Emory's participating runners ranked among the top 35 overall finishers to earn all-region honors and several recorded personal records. As he has all season, junior Jack Whetstone paced his team and won the individual South/Southeast Regional title out of 239 runners with his time of 24:49. Finishing within the top 10 was sophomore Spencer Moore (25:11), who found himself in fourth place, and junior John Cox, who produced a personal-best time of 25:17 to take seventh. Sophomore Brett Lucas crossed the line in 25:27 – a new record for him – to earn 11th-place. Junior Egan Kattenberg also established a new personal best 8K time of 25:45, which was good enough for 18th-place. Junior Matt Dillon (25:55) ended his day in 25th, as Jon Marcus (25:59) broke the 26-minute mark for the first time to take 28th-place.
The Eagles totaled 85 points as a team in the women's 6K, trailing only Washington and Lee's 36 point effort, while Centre ended up with 101 points to claim third. Trinity (Tex.) (160 pts.) and Christopher Newport (217 pts.) rounded out the top five.
All five of Emory's scoring runners finished inside the top 35, which gave them all-region honors. Junior Suzie Martin (21:43) utilized her fastest 6K time to date, as she breached the 22-minute mark for the first time to finish in fifth-place. In seventh, junior Carrie McIntyre also set a new personal standard by racing to a time of 22:17. Freshman Leah Clark (22:34) and junior Ana Morris (22:49) also broke their previous personal-records and finished in 17th-place and 25th-place, respectively. Junior Abby Durfee was the final Eagle runner to claim all-region honors, as she placed in 34th with a time of 23:01. Freshman Shana Fitzmaurice (46th, 23:27) and Annika Urban (79th, 24:04) also turned in strong efforts in Memphis.
The Emory Cross Country Program, led by Head Coach Linh Nguyen in his first year at the helm for the Eagles, will now prepare for next Saturday's NCAA DIII National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. That meet will take place at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The Eagles will be familiar with the course, as they surveyed the trail in early October when the teams participated in the Louisville Classic.