MARYVILLE, Tenn. - The NC Wesleyan College women's cross country team finished 13th out of 17 teams at the USA SOUTH Conference Meet held Friday morning at Maryville College in Tennessee.
Berea College won the race with 26 points outdistancing Covenant and Piedmont as the West Division swept the top three. Methodist was the highest placing East team in 4th while the Lady Bishops finished ahead of Ga. Wesleyan College, Averett, Brevard, and Huntingdon.
"Today's course was extremely wet and muddy, as the night prior there was a hard rain," said coach Marshall Leonard. "This was the stereotypical cross country race where runners were muddy after the race. And I love these types of races. Races like these puts everyone on an equal playing field, as the conditions are difficult, and each runner sees who is willing to compete the hardest."
Senior Sarah Grossman led the Bishops placing 64th overall out of 114 runners with a time of 30:26 in the 6K race.
Freshman Alyssa Donaldson then placed next on the team and 68th overall in 31:40 while sophomore Ali Cucinotta was 87th in 34:43. Senior Hannah Ivester then came next on the team in 4th and 103rd overall in 39:16. Freshmen Michelle Sackney-Asnah and Sydney Huffman then virtually tied for the 5th spot on the team both running times of 43:41 with sophomore Deja Hartman also coming in right after in 44:15.
Head Coach Marshall Leonard said that, "The women ran first and had a great race from everyone. Sarah led us and challenged herself every step of the way. Alyssa followed her and had a huge smile on her face during the race, and it looked like she was having the time of her life out there in the muddy conditions."
Methodist's Makayla Lawler won the race in 23:07.
NC Wesleyan's Alyssa Donaldson was also named to the Conference All-Sportsmanship team as well.
"What made me the most proud to be the coach of this men's and women's team," said Leonard, "was how they treated and interacted with their rival teams and coaches. Our runners showed support and compassion for other runners throughout the day, and congratulated the rival opponents at the end of the race. They represented themselves and our school in a way that would make every administrator, student, and alumni proud to be associated with this group of athletes."
The next race is Nov. 10th at the NCAA Regional Championships, and this will be the 1st time in NC Wesleyan's history that the cross country team will run at the NCAA Tournament.
"We are excited to have a chance to go and represent our school at NCAAs and we hope to continue our progress as individuals and as a program.