CONCORD, N.C. – King topped a field of 12 teams at the 2012 Conference Carolinas Cross Country Championships to earn the College its first championship in the sport. Led by Kendra Sokol, the Lady Tornado placed all five of its runners inside the top 15 of the individual standings. The championship meet was hosted by Belmont Abbey College and held at Frank Liske Park.
Kingsport, Tenn. native Kendra Sokol finished second overall and was one of three runners to finish with a top-10 placing. Sokol finished the 5k course in 19:18.50, just over nine seconds off the pace of the event winner.
"Kendra has been a great leader for this team and ran very tough today," said Head Coach Peter Dalton. "She came through in a big way when we needed her most. I am very pleased with her performance today."
Rounding out the top 5 in the individual standings was junior Evan Ferrell (Richlands, Va.). She finished fifth overall and was the second of three Lady Tornado runners to break the 20-minute barrier. Ferrell crossed the finish line in 19:57.30.
Ferrell was closely trailed by junior Eliza Parker (Oswego, N.Y.) who crossed the finish line less than two seconds behind her (19:59.08). The two ran as a pack to finish 5-6 in the individual standings.
"Eliza [Parker] and Evan [Ferrell] ran great together today," said Dalton. "Their performance really helped put us in a good spot for the win."
Rounding out King's lineup of runners were Danielle Beauvais (Winchester, Va.) and Tabitha Arwood (Lebanon, Va.), who also ran strongly as a duo. The senior, Beauvais, finished 14th overall with a time of 20:33.95 while her junior counterpart completed the course in 20:36.00.
"They [Beauvais and Arwood] have both ran strong together all season long and it showed today as well," said Dalton.
All five King runners finished inside the top 15, which awards them All-Conference honors. Sokol and Ferrell each were named to the First Team for placing inside the top five. Eliza Parker earned Second Team honors for her sixth place finish while Danielle Beauvais and Tabitha Arwood each were named to the Third Team.
"This was huge for our program," said Dalton. "Not only is this our first conference championship but to place in front of one of the top teams in the region heading into the region championships is a big deal. Needless to say, we are all happy about today but the work is not yet complete."
King's first place team finish was one spot better than Mount Olive, who was the favorite heading into the Conference Carolinas Championship. The Trojans were ranked second in the Southeast Region at the beginning of the week by the USTFCCCA while the Lady Tornado began the week ranked fifth.
The Lady Tornado finished with 42 points, 14 better than second place Mount Olive. Rounding out the top five were Barton (116), Erskine (134), and Belmont Abbey (135). Amber Thompson from Mount Olive was the individual winner and Runner of the Year.
To add to the list of accolades both Tornado teams reeled in, Dalton was also named Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year.
The Lady Tornado will head back to the Charlotte-area to compete in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championship. They will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3 with an 8 a.m. start time.