CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte women's cross country team completed their 2012 season with a 19th place finish at the NCAA Southeast Regional at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, earlier Friday afternoon. The men finished 26th overall.
The Southeast Region includes all NCAA Division I universities from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky. Additionally, the Southeast Regional determines a portion of the NCAA Cross Country Championship field set to take place Saturday, Nov. 17, at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.
The top two teams and top four individuals not on an advancing team receive an automatic berth into the national meet. Additional teams and individuals are chosen through an at-large selection process.
Duke won the event with 81 points. William and Mary were second (123), followed by North Carolina State (147), Kentucky (173), North Carolina (195), James Madison (225), Clemson (239), Virginia (251), East Carolina (255), and South Carolina (309) to round out the top 10.
The Niner women finished with a team score of 575 and were led by sophomore Jenna Christensen who finished 71st with a mark of 22:03.86. Christensen recorded a new personal record after dropping her time from last year's regional (22:17.5). Christensen highlighted her final race of the season by finishing first for the 49ers, her first time this season.
Also in the top 100 was senior Hana Sutchar who finished 97th (22:26.67). Sutchar has been amazing for the 49ers this season and has been one of their top runners. Senior Maria Ruiz was 110th (22:33.57), followed by freshman Morgan Richards (22:57.74). Junior Katie Holloway recorded a time of 23:11.38 to finish 155th. Sophomores Jen Molke (23:21.25) and Taylor Carcella (23.25.94) were 164th and 168th respectively.
Virginia won the men's Southeast regional with a team score of 64. Eastern Kentucky was second (75), followed by N.C. State (102), Virginia Tech (150), Duke (201), George Mason (202), Liberty (257), William and Mary (271), Wake Forest (288), and Louisville (328) to complete the top ten.
Charlotte finished with a team score of 717 and was led by sophomore Zach Greth, who has been in the forefront for the 49ers this season. Greth was 80th overall with a time if 31:58.21. Greth also set a PR after shaving off time from last year's regional mark (32:30.7).
Freshman Chris Anderson was second for the Niners (33:18.42), followed by senior Cody Hodgins (33:36.07) who also lowered his time from the 2011 regional. Freshman Getisso Dentamo was fourth (33:52.30) for Charlotte. Sophomore Ben Sterett (33:52.78), freshman John Felts (34:16.22), and junior Eleazar Garcia (34:23.89) also competed in the race.
"It was a honor to host the Southeast Regional," said head coach Ed Schlichter. "It was great to see all the teams and how much talent the Southeast region has. I'm looking forward to next season and the improvements we make."
Charlotte will return most of its top runners for the 2013 season. The 49ers will join Conference USA and hopes to continue their success in their new league.