UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The Richmond men's and women's cross country teams travel to Louisville, Ky., this week for Saturday's NCAA Southeast Regional, where both teams and individual runners have the opportunity to qualify for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. Saturday's Regional meet begins at 10 a.m. with the men's 10k with the women's 6k to follow at 11:15 a.m.
The Southeast Regional meet will be hosted by the University of Louisville at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in suburban Louisville. The course will be raced on the grounds of the 369-acre urban park on the outskirts of the state's largest city. It is the site of five previous regional races, including last year's Southeast Regional meet.
PREVAILS, SPIDER YOUTH SOLID AT A-10s
Sophomore Jill Prentice (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery), who was just one of two underclassmen in the top 10, remained with the front of the pack the entire way before making her move down the final stretch of the 5k to claim the top spot and earn Most Outstanding Performer honors at the Atlantic 10 Women's Championship in Charlotte on Oct. 29. Prentice, who became the program's first-ever women's individual champion, recorded a time of 17:13.7, which was the second-fastest in championship history and eight seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Hilary Orf of Saint Louis.
Junior Stephanie Paradis (Leesburg, Va./Stone Bridge) also garnered all-conference honors, posting a time of 17:55.1 to take 13th overall. Freshman Clare Moretz (Madison, Va./Madison) came in just behind to tally a top-20 finish, clocking a 18:10.0 to finish 19th and less than a second behind the meet's Most Outstanding Rookie in Duquesne's Danica Snyder.
Rounding out the Richmond top five were sophomore Roxanne Henningson (Saratoga Springs, N.Y./Greenwich) with a 28th-place time of 18:23.7 and senior Andi DeFonce (West Harrison, N.Y./Harrison), who canvassed the course in a time of 18:39.3 to take 38th.
The first of three freshmen in the Spider men's top four, Andrew Valenski (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) turned in a time of 25:21.2 in the men's 8k race to pace the Spiders with a 25th-place showing. His time represented the second-fastest mark among freshmen at the meet.
Junior Chris York (White Post, Va./Clarke County) crossed the line just behind with a time of 25:28.7 to take 31st. Freshman Billy Fayette (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale) finished in 38th with a time of 25:42.9, while classmate Matthew Groff (Landisville, Pa./Hempfield) was six spots behind with a time of 25:46.5.
The Spiders' scoring was rounded out by junior Jason Skipper (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford Mendon), who clocked a 25:51.5 to finish 47th.
STELLAR AT 2010 REGIONALS
The Spiders captured two top-10 spots at the Southeast Regional Championships at the 2010 Southeast Regional in Louisville. The men finished in fourth-place, while the women finished seventh overall.
Redshirt senior Matt Llano finished eighth overall in the men's 10K race with a time of 30:29.8. He was followed closely by classmate Andrew Benford who came in 10th with a time of 30:30.5. Senior Tim Quinn finished 20th and was clocked in at 31:02.3. All three runners received first-team NCAA All-Region honors for their top-25 finishes.
Junior Levi Grandt came in 54th (32:09.5), redshirt senior Jon Wilson finished 66th overall (32:23.8), sophomore Chris York came in 79th (32:45.6) and sophomore Jason Skipper finished 159th with a time of 34:39.9.
Flotrack, a website dedicated to the sport of running, said, "This was probably the team performance of the regional weekend. A team that nobody expected to make the national meet except maybe fans of the team, [or] themselves. The Atlantic 10 champs... has come in, beat Virginia, they beat UNC, they beat Liberty, they beat Louisville... beating a team like Louisville who was second at the Big East meet, that's big."
The Spider women placed seventh overall, beating out Wake Forest, Clemson, William & Mary and Liberty. Redshirt senior Amy Van Alstine finished seventh overall with a time of 20:25.3 in the women's 6k run. Her performance earned her first-team NCAA All-Region honors and qualified her for an individual spot at the NCAA Championships.
Senior Nicol Traynor came in 31st-place with a time of 21:20.8 and freshman Jill Prentice came in 40th with a time of 21:31.0. Senior Julie Rechel came in 62nd (21:48.2), followed by redshirt-senior Jenn Ennis in 72nd (22:08.0), senior Erin Lunny in 79th (22:16.5) and freshman Alli Mannon in 96th (22:32.1).
STEVE TAYLOR ON SPIDER MEN
"Our athletes have tapered for this championship and we are coming off our best 1-5 team split of the season. Our men will be looking for, as a goal, a top-15 finish this year. In order to achieve that finish, we'll need a good pack and to race hard throughout. Everyone knows there will be 37 teams on the start line Saturday morning and at this point in the season everyone is fit. The difference will be in those teams who have seven healthy athletes who are ready to test while pushing through their limits for 30 minutes of racing."
COACH LORI TAYLOR ON SPIDER WOMEN
"The team is healthy and has the momentum for its best race of the season this weekend at the Regional Championship. This young women's team has trained hard and with purpose from early preseason training in August. I am proud of how they have come together as a team and created an environment filled with hard work and confidence. They have learned how to work for each other and depend on one another. They can now count on each other. We expect a top-10 team finish, which includes another shot at conference rival Charlotte and other early-season races against W&M, UVa. and the top schools that make up the Southeast Region. A-10 champion Jill Prentice looks to compete against the top distance runners in the region for a spot on the NCAA Championship line later this month."
A meet recap and complete results will be made available on RichmondSpiders.com on Saturday. For more immediate results, please visit the Southeast Regional results page. Results and additional in-depth coverage can also be found on Coach Taylor's blog and by following him on Twitter.