TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A dozen members of the Florida Atlantic University cross country program participated in Friday's NCAA South Regional hosted by the University of Alabama, with Christina Schultz and Lachlan Shiver the fastest respective runner for the women's and men's squads at Harry Pritchett Running Park.
- Shiver ran the 10,000 meters in 35:24, just six seconds off his pace of a year ago
- Finishing within three spots of one another were John Marting (36:05), Sean Barone (36:14) and Jonathan Werble (36:25), while Cristian Moreno, like Barone, ran in his first NCAA competition (finishing in 37:35)
- In the 6K, Schultz crossed in 22:45, with Liz Wellman just four seconds (and six spots) behind her
- Bethany Hardcastle was next (23:04), and similarly, was ahead of a teammate - Sophia Clark - by four seconds
- Separated by seven seconds were Erica Lersch (23:19) and Megan Giovanniello, in her first national meet (23:26), and Mikaela Jonsson came in at 24:10
- The Owls placed 26th out of 31 women's teams competing
"On a tough, deceptively hilly course, both men's and women's teams performed admirably today," said Head Coach Alex Smolka. "In fact, the women improved their team finish from last year, and set numerous new 6K PR's. It was a great culmination of a very good 2017 cross country season which saw the women's team improve their conference as well as NCAA Regional rankings. The men gained great experience competing at the NCAA regional championships as well, and with all of them returning for next year the future is very bright."
The five Owl men, and all eight on the 2017 roster, are juniors or younger, setting up the possibility of everyone returning. Schultz, Wellman and two others - Carydaliz Fontanez and Jasmine Van Tine - will graduate from the women's side, but nearly a dozen runners could come back to the squad in the fall.