Cargill, Sneller Lead Cross Country at NCAA Regional

Cargill, Sneller Lead Cross Country at NCAA Regional

WINCHESTER, Va. -- The Covenant cross country teams closed out the 2015 season on Saturday at the NCAA South/Southeast Region meets. The women finished 18th out of 27 teams, while the men were 24th of 30.

Senior Ruthie Cargill finished her cross country collegiate career with a 6k time of 24:13.9, just a second off her personal record time, and finished 47th overall. The individual finish is the second best for a Covenant runner at the NCAA region meet.

Freshman Lilly Smith set a personal record with a time of 25:11.1 for a 91st place finish overall. Senior Spookie Eaves came in at 25:50.4, while fellow senior Esther Anderson finished in 26:24.1. Freshman Stephanie Lutz completed the top five Covenant finishers with a time of 26:53.5. Senior Melanie White concluded her career with a time of 27:34.5.

"This was probably the toughest course we have seen all year," said head coach Katie Stanford. "But Ruthie [Cargill] ran well, Lilly [Smith] set a personal best and Esther [Anderson] had a season best. They fought it out and ended the season well."

Covenant finished one spot back of USA South champion Meredith, while besting the three other USA South teams in the meet. Emory took the top spot and Rhodes finished second in the event. 

On the men's side, freshman Micah Sneller paced the Scots with his 8k time of 29:19.9 which placed him 113th overall. Freshmen Reed Vaughn (29:41) and Nathan Bierema (30:17.1) were the next two Scots to finish at 127th and 146th, respectively. Junior Phil Moore finished in 30:20.8, while freshman Josh Humpherys completed the course in 31:22.1. Senior Hunter Rasmussen wrapped up his career with a time of 31:37.3.

"The men's race time was slow. The hills were tough," added Stanford. "They beat Piedmont today, which they were excited about. The top five today are all returning next year so that is exciting. Hunter [Rasmussen] ran a great race through mile three before getting a side stitch. It's tough for that to happen during your last college race, but he had a great season overall and led this team well."

Covenant placed 24th overall and came in two spots higher than USA South champion Piedmont. The Scots also finished better than USA South foes Methodist and LaGrange.

Emory also took home the team title on the men's side, while Christopher Newport finished second.

Women's Results (18th of 27)

47th - Ruthie Cargill - 24:13.9
91st - Lilly Smith - 25:11.1 - PR
118th - Spookie Eaves - 25:50.4 
132nd - Esther Anderson - 26:24.1
144th - Stephanie Lutz - 26:53.5
159th - Margaret Fitch - 27:32.4
161st - Melanie White - 27:34.5

Men's Results (24th of 30)

113th - Micah Sneller - 29:19.9
127th - Reed Vaughn - 29:41.0
146th - Nathan Bierema - 30:17.1
148th - Phil Moore - 30:20.8
172nd - Josh Humpherys - 31:22.1
177th - Hunter Rasmussen - 31:37.3
179th - Zach Atchison - 31:44.1

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