Maryville, TN. - The Mountaineers traveled to Maryville College to compete in the USA South Conference Championships Friday afternoon. Berea won the USA Conference Championship last season and were able to repeat as conference champs for the second straight year. The Mountaineers finished with 26 points, topping second place Covenant by 21 points in the 6k race.
The first Mountaineer to finish was senior Dove DeNigris, who crossed the line in third place with a time of 23:28. Following close behind DeNigris was sophomore Abby Schlenker with a time of 23:45, which was good for fourth place finish. The third Berea runner was freshman Mary Beth Mellhuish finishing in fifth place in 24:27 with junior Jamie Welch finishing right behind in sixth place with a time of 24:31. Rounding out the scoring for the Mountaineers was Rachel Malstead with an eighth place finish and a time of 24:47.
The Mountaineers received numerous all conference awards this season. Dove DeNigris, Abby Schlenker, Mary Beth Mellhuish and Jamie Welch were all named to first team USA South Conference team by finish in the top seven of the race, while Rachel Malstead and Leta Heigley were named to the second team. Honorable mention included Caitlyn Roberts, Hayley Clark and Bethany Bigler with Clark also being named to the All-Sportsmanship team. Mary Beth Mellhuish was voted Rookie of Year in the conference and Coach Shawn Jakubowski also received recognition by being voted women's cross country Coach of the Year.
Next up for Berea is the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Championships in Georgia. The race will take place on Saturday, November 10.