Women's Cross Country Ends Season at NCAA Regional

Women's Cross Country Ends Season at NCAA Regional

LAKELAND, FL - The Florida Southern women's cross country team saw its season come to a close at the NCAA Division II South Region Championship held here Saturday at Holloway Park and Nature Preserve. The Moccasins compiled 260 points to place 11th out of 16 teams.

Saint Leo took the individual and team titles as Colett Rampf won her third straight regional championship at 20:49.14 to lead her teammates to the school's first regional title. The Lions advance to the NCAA National Championship along with second place Lee (85 points) and Embry-Riddle (96 points).

Florida Southern was led by redshirt sophomore Hannah Nelson who placed 37th with a 23:39.26 time while junior Aleksa Guerra came in 42nd at 23:48.03. Both times were the second-fastest times in their collegiate careers.

A pair of Moccasin freshman were next up in Mercedes Mendoza who was 49th at 23:53.35 and Hannah Flemming who was 54th with a 24:02.87 time.

Sophomore Anna Brook Opalinski posted her second fastest 6K time of 25:05.54 to place 79th while junior Jolene Vergauwen was 82nd with a 25:12.90 time.

All individuals in the top five who were not part of a qualifying team as well as the top two individuals not part of a qualifying team automatically advance to the national championship meet.

Receiving automatic berths in the NCAA National Championship, based on their finishes, are West Alabama's Caren Bartuin (2nd), Montevallo's Katie Nelson (3rd), Alabama-Huntsville's Angel Sillivant (7th) and Christian Brothers' Hannah Owen (10th).

Under a new qualifying format for 2017, a number of at-large teams and individuals will be selected by the NCAA Division II Cross Country Committee for inclusion in the national championship. The announcement of the at-large participants will be made on Monday, Nov. 6.

ORDER OF FINISH: Saint Leo (78 pts); Lee (94); Embry-Riddle (104); Tampa (134); Alabama-Huntsville (137); Montevallo (194); Union (210); North Alabama (228); Mississippi College (243); Florida Tech (256); Florida Southern (260); Christian Brothers (298); West Florida (312); Lynn (334); Delta State (340); and West Alabama (387).