Women's Cross Country Returns Home With Program's First USA South Conference Championship

The women's cross country gathered for a picture after winning their first conference championship in the USA South.
The women's cross country gathered for a picture after winning their first conference championship in the USA South.

Tallulah Falls, GA- The women's cross country team competed in the USA South Conference Championship this afternoon hosted by Piedmont College at the Tallulah Falls School Farm Course. The team was looking to win their first conference championship as a member of the USA South.  

In the 6k race, Berea had eight runners finish in the top 24, including three in the top nine, in a race consisting of 125 participants. Leading the way for the Mountaineers was junior Dove DeNigris with a time of 23:42, good enough for fifth place, followed by a sixth place finish by Delaney Williams (23:45) and Jamie Welch's ninth place finish with a 24:01 pace. Sophomore Ivanna Sabino (24:35) and senior Erin Gonterman (24:37) finished in 12th and 13th, respectively. Freshman Abigail Schlenker (16th; 24:46), sophomore Hayley Clark (18th; 25:06) and junior Jenna Hughes (24th; 25:42) made it seven Mountaineers in the top 24.

Other runners to finish the race for Berea was: freshman Tylan Eastham in 38th with a 26:27 pace, senior Asia Foster with a 40th place finish and a time of 26:39, freshman Sydney Shakelford in 49th with her 27:24 time and sophomore Caitlyn Roberts, who finished with a time of 27:30 and in 52nd place. The finishes gave Berea 44 team points, meaning the Mountaineers walked off the course as the 2017 USA South Women's Cross Country Conference Champions, the first in school history as members of the USA South, beating the second place team by 24 points.

With their finishes, DeNigris and Williams earn spots on the 2017 USA South Women's Cross Country All-Conference First Team while Welch, Sabino and Gonterman finished as members of the All-Conference Second Team. Schlenker and Clark finished their day on the All-Conference Third Team to go along with an All-Conference Honorable Mention from Hughes. Williams also finished as a member of the All-Sportsmanship Team.

After a week off from competition, the Mountaineers turn their focus to the NCAA Division III Regional Championships in Newport News, VA. The race is scheduled for Friday, November 10th.