LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant cross country teams will be looking to build upon their performances two weeks ago at the USA South Championships on Saturday when they compete in the NCAA South/Southeast Region Meets in Rome, Georgia, hosted by Berry College
When: Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014 - Men's race at 9:30 a.m., Women's race at 11 a.m.
Where: Berry College - Rome, Ga.
Follow: Live stats of the meets can be found here
Interested in going? There will be a carpool leaving Ashe Activity Center on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Sign up for a ride or to drive here
Coming off a second consecutive USA South title, the men are poised for a strong finish at this year's regional event.
Sophomore Graham Massot overcame teammate Eliot Kaufmann and Maryville's top runner Sean Hagstrom to grab the individual USA South crown two weeks ago. Massot has been solid all season long with a pair of individual wins.
Although he finished third in the USA South meet, Kaufmann has been Covenant's top runner for most of the year. The freshman was named USA South Runner and Rookie of the Year and also earned first team All-Conference honors with his finish at the league's meet.
Both Kaufmann and Massot have had personal best times hovering near the 27 minute mark.
Freshman John Weaks has come on strong over the last month as he placed fifth at the USA South meet. Seniors Stephen Dillon and Jack Williams had great runs at the USA South championships and look to finish their careers on a high note. Phil Moore and Eliot Gardner will be the other two Covenant runners competing.
The field includes 29 men's teams from the region. Emory, Bridgewater and Christopher Newport are the top three teams in the region, according to last week's USTFCCCA region poll. Covenant has competed against regionally ranked teams in Washington & Lee (4th), Birmingham Southern (10th), Berry (8th) and Emory (1st).
In last year's region meet in Newport News, Virginia, Covenant placed 18th out of 24 teams. Dillon led the way with an 88th place finish out of 174 runners.
It was one year ago that senior Beth Burgess made school history when she broke the program record in the 6k at the NCAA region meet in Newport News, Virginia. Burgess ran the course in 23:58, but that record would not stand very long.
As a team, Covenant placed 18th of 27 a year ago.
Burgess broke her own school record this earlier this season with a time of 23:44 at the Sewanee Invitational. The senior put together a dominating 2014 season as she was named USA South Runner of the Year and looks to lead the women's team to a strong finish on Saturday.
The team fell just three points shy of knocking off Meredith in the USA South championships two weeks ago. Burgess placed second in the event.
Having her best season yet, junior Ruthie Cargill earned second team USA South All-Conference two weeks ago. The junior has set multiple personal records this season. Freshmen Abby Irwin, Jordan Francis and Margaret Fitch have all had been significant contributors at one point or another throughout the year. Francis was earned USA South All-Conference first team after placing seventh in the conference meet, while Irwin made the second team.
Emory, Centre and Christopher Newport are the top three regionally ranked teams, according to the USTFCCCA. Trinity (Texas) is ranked fifth and is the two-time defending region champion. Covenant has competed against regionally-ranked opponents in Sewanee (9th) and Washington & Lee (10th). Covenant bested Washington & Lee at the Sewanee Invitational on Sept. 6.