The Oglethorpe men's cross country team had their best-ever regional showing at the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regionals in Mount Berry, Georgia, on Saturday, posting an eighth place finish as a team with 250 points for the meet and an average time of 27 minutes, 15.24 seconds on the 8-kilometer course.
Sophomore Jacob Hadden led the Petrels on the day, finishing 11th with a time of 26:06.79 at the Clara Bowl course on Berry's campus. That mark earned him South/Southeast All-Region honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, marking the first Oglethorpe runner to accomplish that feat since Doug Pack in 1994. It was also the highest finish by a Petrel at a regional meet since Pack finished fifth in 1993.
He'll also look to become the first Petrel since Pack to qualify as an individual for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships. The top seven individual finishers in each region who aren't on teams that qualify for the national meet fill the 56 individual spots for the event. Hadden finished seventh among individuals not on the region's top two teams (Rhodes and Emory), who automatically qualify for the national meet. Results will be finalized and made official at 3 p.m. Sunday. The national meet will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, in Winneconne, Wisconsin.
Freshman Hayden Guthrie nearly joined Hadden on the All-Region list, finishing just short of the 35th place finish he needed to accomplish that feat. He finished 38th with a time of 26:55.34. Sophomore Bill Lester finished third among Petrels, posting a 58th place finish in 27:35.92. Freshman Aidan Goldston finished 68th with a mark of 27:43.54, while junior Mateo Villa rounded out the Oglethorpe scorers by finishing 76th at 27:54.57. Sophomore Alex Araya also finished in the top half of the field, coming in 98th with a mark of 28:25.90.
On the women's side, senior Kara Jones finished in the top half of the field on the women's 6-kilometer course. She finished 82nd with a time of 25:21.96. Freshman Gabby Huff-Streiter finished 122nd in 26:25.10.