ROME, Ga. -- The Covenant women's cross country team set a program-best mark by placing 17th at the NCAA South/Southeast Regional, while the men finished 23rd at the event hosted by Berry College in Rome, Ga., on Saturday.
The finish for the women is the best since joining the NCAA in the 2013 season. The Lady Scots had finished 18th at each of the three previous region meets. Covenant finished just three points behind USA South champion Piedmont for 16th place.
Emory finished first with Rhodes the runner-up in the women's event. In the men's race, Christopher Newport came out with the team title, while Washington & Lee was second. Each of those teams qualifies for the NCAA national meet.
The women were paced by Lilly Smith as she was able to bounce back from a tough USA South meet two weeks ago to place 75th overall with a 6k time of 24:56. Hannah Samuels also finished inside the top 100 with an 86th place finish after a time of 25:11. Margaret Fitch finished in a time of 26:12 and Caroline Pepper set a personal record with her time of 26:52. Anna Danek rounded out the top five Covenant runners at 27:03.
As a team, Covenant accumulated 495 points and placed better than all USA South teams except for Piedmont.
The men had three runners set personal bests on the day. Micah Sneller led the way with his 8k time of 28:25, good for 110th overall. Caleb Keitt was one of the three to set a new personal best as he finished in 28:32 for 118th in the event. Matthew Tueller also set a personal record at 28:38, while Nathan Bierema was the fourth Covenant finisher at 30:04. Phil Carrenard completed the top five with his personal best time of 30:13.
The Scots were 23rd, out of 29 teams, with 672 points. Covenant finished ahead of Methodist and Maryville.
110th - Micah Sneller - 28:25
118th - Caleb Keitt - 28:32 (PR)
124th - Matthew Tueller - 28:38 (PR)
171st - Nathan Bierema - 30:04
175th - Phil Carrenard - 30:13 (PR)
189th - Zach Atchison - 31:26
199th - Caleb McKillop - 32:40
75th - Lilly Smith - 24:56
86th - Hannah Samuels - 25:11
124th - Margaret Fitch - 26:12
148th - Caroline Pepper - 26:52 (PR)
153rd - Anna Danek - 27:03
209th - Juliette Henry - 33:14
213th - Hannah Cotton - 35:55
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