October 21, 2011

Conference Carolinas Championships Bring High Finishes and Personal Records

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – King College Cross Country had both the men's and women's teams finish inside the top three spots at the Conference Carolinas Championships held in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday afternoon. The King men's team finish second in the field of 12 while the women finished third.

The Tornado men finished second behind nationally-ranked Queens (N.C.), scoring 53 points. The host, Queens, finished in front of King with 25 for a meet best.

Leading the pack for King was sophomore standout Spencer Frantom (Morristown, Tenn.), who finished fifth overall with a 25:23 time in the 8k run. The men also witnessed three of its runners finish with personal records, helping the Tornado to their second place team finish.

Jordan Noe (Morristown, Tenn.) was one of three King runners to set new personal best times, finishing just behind Frantom with a 25:26 time. His time set a new PR and led him to a sixth place finish. Justin Humphreys (Bristol, Tenn.) finished 12th overall, running a time of 26 minutes, flat, also a new PR for the senior. Sophomore Taylor Dix was the third King runner to set a new personal best. The Memphis, Tenn. native finish 19th overall (26:27).

Third-ranked Mount Olive finished third on the men's side, 13 points away from King. After Mount Olive, the field became quite separated with Erskine (126) finishing fourth, Belmont Abbey (174) and Limestone (174) rounding out the top half of the men's field.

 "The men ran really strong and I was really proud of our individual performances," said Head Coach Peter Dalton. "A performance like today makes us all very optimistic and excited for the regional championships and make us feel like we are in good shape for an appearance in the national championships in Spokane (Wash.)."

The Tornado entered the race ranked second in the conference and in the region, an honor they held all five weeks the rankings were released by the USTFCCCA.

The Lady Tornado ran to a third place finish in the meet behind nationally-ranked Queens and Mount Olive. King finished with 80 points, just 11 points behind Mount Olive.

Kendra Sokol (Kingsport, Tenn.) was the first King female harrier to cross the line with a 19:21 time, placing her 12th overall in the 5k race. Behind her, three Lady Tornado runners hit new PR marks to contribute to the team's success. Danielle Alfano (Chattanooga, Tenn.) finished three seconds behind Sokol for a 13th place finish and set a new PR with that time. Mariah Arnold (Abingdon, Va.) also set a new personal best with a 19:28 time, finishing 15thin the race.

After Danielle Beauvais (Winchester, Va.) crossed the line in 16th (19:34), it marked a point where four of King's top-five runners finished under the 20-minute mark and in the top 16 overall spots. Evan Ferrell (Richlands, Va.) finished right at 20:00 for a 24th finish to round out the team's performance.

Morgan Weddle (Nicklesville, Va.) ran her first race for King College, setting a new best performance time of 20:35 and finishing 41st overall.

Dalton said, "We are confident in our ability to run the 6k when it is time to do so in two weeks. We had some great individual performances but we will look to improve upon our team performance in order to get back to Nationals and compete with the field at the regional championships."

Both teams will take to the track again on Nov. 5 at the Southeast Regional Championships held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The top two ranked teams in each region will receive an automatic invitation to the National Championships, which will be held in Spokane, Wash. on Nov. 19.