Southeast Regional: RecapNovember 3, 2007

Men's Recap

Queens University of Charlotte junior Daniel Kanyaruhuru ran away with the 2007 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional cross country individual title Saturday morning. Kanyaruhuru clocked a 10K time of 30:38 to finish almost two minutes ahead of Wingate University junior Jayce Watson (Millersport, Ohio). Kanyaruhuru led the Royals to a first-place team finish in the 10K race held Saturday at the Wingate University Cross Country Facility.

The top two finishing teams from each region qualify for the nationals on November 17 in Joplin, Mo. The top five individuals, if not on a qualifying team, also get a bid in the nationals.

Queens placed three runners in the top nine on its way to a team score of 40. The Conference Carolinas runner of the year, Kanyaruhuru led the charge as the Royals picked up their first regional title. In addition, Queens sophomore Ryan Connelly finished third overall in 32:27, while freshman Marius Koksvik finished ninth with a 33:10 time. The other two scorers for the Royals were senior Philipe Araujo in 14th and sophomore Nick Norton in 16th.

The Mars Hill College men qualified for nationals for the second straight year, finishing with 92 points. The Lions were 12 points ahead of third-place Lees-McRae College. For Mars Hill, junior Dustin Whitlow finished eighth (33:04), sophomore Winston Curry finished 12th (33:44), freshman Justin Baker finished 19th (34:14), freshman Aaron Thomas finished 26th (34:40) and senior William Mikolajczak finished 32nd (34:56).

The South Atlantic Conference runner of the year, Watson will make his second consecutive appearance at the national meet. Watson ran a 32:19 10K Saturday. Joining Watson as an individual qualifier from the Southeast region include St. Andrews Presbyterian College junior Mitch Cooper, a junior from who finished fourth with a 32:31 mark.

Lees-McRae senior Lewis Martin grabbed the fifth spot with a time of 32:33. Martin nipped Saint Augustines Colleges Ken Samoei (32:47) for the final individual spot.

Last year, Cooper qualified for the nationals when St. Andrews won the Southeast region. Cooper finished sixth in last years regional. This is Watsons second consecutive second-place finish in the regional, propelling him to the nationals where he will be accompanied by the Wingate womens team who qualified with a second-place team finish.

Women's Recap

Wingate N.C.--The Southeast Region is sending the maximum number of participants to the NCAA Division II National womens cross country meet in Joplin, Mo. on November 17. The top two teams and top five individuals (if not a member of a qualifying team) all get bids in the national. After the 6K race at Wingate University Saturday, Lees-McRae College and Wingate qualified as teams, but no members of either team had a spot in the top five. The depth exhibited by the Bobcats and the Bulldogs allowed five extra individuals a chance at a national berth.

NCAA Division II Southeast Region Runner of the Year Stellah Sang finished the course first in a time of 23:32. The University of the District of Columbia sophomore still has not finished out of the top three in any race this season. Four juniors finished second through fifth starting with Anderson (S.C.) Universitys Diana Willard, who finished in 23:45.

South Atlantic Conference Runner of the Year Aubrey Morris of Carson-Newman College finished third with a time of 23:53. Last year, Morris won the regional and also qualified for nationals as an individual. St. Andrews Presbyterian Colleges Alyson Trovato was the last woman to finish under 24 minutes in fourth place at 23:56. Lenoir-Rhyne Colleges Genna Eisenmann snagged the last national berth with a time of 24:04.

Lees-McRae College placed four runners in the top 15, sophomore Dana Lindholm (eighth, 24:31), freshman April Harris (11th, 24:53), sophomore Ashley May (14th, 25:01) and sophomore Carla Swart (15th, 25:03) to earn a first-place team finish and a national bid with 70 points.

The final scorer for Lees-McRae was sophomore Gina Valenti in 24th (25:23), who was closely followed by junior teammate Demarea Colson (25:27). LMC veteran head coach Craig McPhail was voted NCAA Division II Southeast Region Coach of the Year by his peers.

Junior Ashley Hubbard (Piney Flats, Tenn.) led Wingate to second-place finish on its home course, finishing in 16th-place with a time of 25:05. South Atlantic Conference Freshman of the Year Andrea Criscio (Westfield, Mass.) was the second Bulldog across the finish line in 21st-place (25:19).

Bulldog junior Amber Hines (Little Mountain, S.C.) recorded a time of 25:30 and crossed the finish with freshman Alicia Harbold (Ephrata, Pa., 25:31). Hines and Harbold finished 26th and 27th, respectively. Hines earned a spot at the 2006 national meet as an individual qualifier. Rounding out the scoring for the Bulldogs was senior Laura Berry (Raleigh, N.C.) with a time of 25:56 (36th place).

Other top 10 finishers included Mars Hill College senior Keely Hollahan (sixth, 24:19), Converse College senior Carrie Powell (seventh, 24:30), Coker College freshman Kendyl Searight (ninth, 24:43) and Queens University of Charlotte senior Whitney Dennis (10th, 24:50).

-Courtesy Wingate