Women's Cross Country Earns Best-Ever SAA Finish with Fifth-Place Mark at Conference Meet

Women's Cross Country Earns Best-Ever SAA Finish with Fifth-Place Mark at Conference Meet

The Oglethorpe women's cross country team finished fifth at the SAA Cross Country Championships Saturday morning at Nash Farm Battlefield in Hampton, Georgia, posting an average time of 27 minutes, 26 seconds in the six-kilometer race and a total time of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 13 seconds. The finish was the best in their SAA history, topping the previous mark of seventh place set in 2016.

The Stormy Petrels finished tied on points with sixth-place Sewanee at 147 apiece, but Oglethorpe took the tiebreaker and with it, the fifth-place result. 

Sophomore Hava Stenn led the Petrels with an 18th-place finish, coming in just below the threshold for All-SAA honors after posting a time of 25:07.6. That mark gave her the highest finish in the school's SAA history at the conference meet. Freshman Reagan Goodwin came in right behind that, besting the school's previous highest-ever finish (26th place from Glenda Tutt in 2016) and finishing 20th with a time of 25:15.7. Junior Kara Jones finished 27th in 25:56.1, while freshman Courtney Stuart finished in 27:24.9 and freshman Meghan Myler came in at 33:29.6. Each finishing spot mattered for Oglethorpe in their tight race for fifth place.

"Our women went out really aggressively at the start of the race," said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse, "and that really paid off to get us into fifth place. Fifth place was our goal coming into the meet, and I thought we executed our plan really well. Hava and Reagan both ran really well. The course was tough and the race thinned out, but they stuck up there toward the front and attacked key parts of the course, which allowed them to keep those places. I also want to say that Courtney Stuart did a great job coming in as our fourth runner, and Kara Jones executing as our third."

The Petrels will now get set for the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional, which will take place Nov. 11 in Newport News, Virginia.