NEW ORLEANS, La. - The King College women's cross country did not move from a No. 2 ranking in the newest edition of the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings, the national organization announced Tuesday.
King maintained the No. 2 spot for a sixth straight week. The No. 2 ranking is important down the stretch as the Southeast Region will send the top two teams from the Nov. 20 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championship to the NCAA Division II National Championship on Dec. 4 in which King will try to qualify for in the program's first season as NCAA Division II member.
The Lady Tornado squad was able to see the course that the Southeast Region will be contested on at the Royal Cross Country Challenge the last time out on Oct. 15. The Lady Tornado finished 10th in the team standings as the squad had five runners break the 20-minute mark for a second-straight event. Overall King's margin from the No. 1 to No. 5 runners was just one minute and 32 seconds and the team's average time was 19:13.2 on the 5k course.
At the Royal Cross Country Challenge, Carrie Nelson (Independence, Va.) broke her school record for a second straight event with a time of 18:17.6, 19 seconds faster than her previous program record. She finished third among NCAA Division II runners in the field and 17th overall.
The first nine teams in the region ranking stayed put from last week's report. Atop the ranking was Queens (N.C.) University of Charlotte, followed by King. Columbus State (Ga.) University, Augusta State (Ga.) University and Anderson (S.C.) University held spots No. 3 to No. 5.
UNC Pembroke was No. 6 for a third straight week. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) University, Mount Olive (N.C.) College and Clayton State (Ga.) University occupied the No. 7 to No. 9 rankings. Converse (S.C.) College made a return trip to the Top-10 right at No. 10. This is Converse's first ranking since Oct. 5 which was at No. 10. Georgia College and State University fell out of the Top-10.
The Peach Belt Conference placed four teams in the Top-10, Columbus State, Augusta State, UNC Pembroke and Clayton State. Conference Carolinas members Queens, Mount Olive and Converse were in the Top-10. The South Atlantic put Anderson and Lenoir-Rhyne among the Top-10. King remained the only independent squad in any of the eight region rankings.
The Lady Tornado competed at the Cavalier Open at the University of Virginia on Friday. Team results were not calculated, but Nelson finished second and was the highest attached finisher at the event. Danielle Beauvais (Danville, Va.) and Kendra Sokol (Kingsport, Tenn.) placed fifth and eighth, respectively. King lined up against teams not only from host school Virginia, but more NCAA Division I foes such as, Liberty, Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason.