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Smith Set for NCAA Cross Country Championships

Lilly Smith
Lilly Smith

WINNECONNE, Wis. -- Covenant women's cross country senior Lilly Smith is set to make program history on Saturday when she competes in the NCAA Cross Country Championships at the Lake Breeze Golf Club. 

The women's 6k event begins at 12:15 p.m. EST (11:15 a.m. in Wisconsin).

FOLLOW:

COVERAGE:

CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES:

  • Smith, a senior from Weaverville, N.C., will become the first Covenant runner to compete in the NCAA Championships in the program's NCAA era. She is the first Covenant female runner to qualify individually for a national meet since Anna Garriott competed in the 2004 NAIA Championship.
  • Smith will go out of box 37 along with individual participants from Chapman, Mary Washington, and Redlands.
  • Last year's women's race was won by Khia Kurtenbach of University of Chicago with a 6k time of 20:39.20.
  • The projected temperature at the start of Saturday's race is in the low 30s.

CAPPING A CAREER:

The race will be the capstone of Smith's cross country career. The senior has cemented herself as one of the best runners in program history as Smith has accumulated multiple major awards, and has rewritten many parts of the program's record book. 

Smith holds all five of the top 6k times in the program's history, with her top time of 22:55 coming in last year's USA South Championship meet. Her time of 22:57 in the NCAA South/Southeast Region meet last Saturday was the second-fastest time for the program, but the fastest in a region or national championship race. Her finish at the region meet garnered her all-region honors, a first for the women's program.

Smith is also a two-time USA South Runner of the Year, having won the award in 2017 and 2018, and became the first runner to win the award in consecutive seasons since Mary Baldwin's Sophia Stone accomplished the feat in 2010-2011. Smith is also a three-time All-USA South performer and won the conference's runner of the week award nine times over her career.

This season, Smith etched her name into the Covenant record books in a new way. Smith won individual titles in each of Covenant's first four races, helping the Scots to team titles in each of those events. The feat set a program record for most consecutive individual titles, and also set a known record for most wins in a single-season.

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