TexAnns qualify for NCAA cross country championship
Tarleton State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 11, 2013
STEPHENVILLE, Texas—For the first time in Tarleton State’s NCAA history, a cross country team has qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships.
Lindsey Hinton and Aly Coughlin each finished in the top 25 of the NCAA South Central Regional cross country meet to pace the TexAnns to a sixth place finish Saturday and punch Tarleton’s ticket to the championship race.
“I’m really excited for this group of ladies,” said Tarleton head coach Pat Ponder. “It exemplifies the way our season has been. We knew going into the season that it would be tough, but they worked hard and now we have to get ready for one more race.
“I’m very proud of them and exited for them,” he added. “This is a trip they’ve earned through their hard work. Our goal now is to go to the national championships and represent Tarleton with class.”
Just two weeks removed from finishing 1-2 in the Lone Star Conference Championship meet, Hinton and Coughlin paced the TexAnns with a 17th and 24th place finish, respectively, with times of 22:07 and 22:19.
The LSC Freshman of the Year, Audrey Shelton, finished her regional debut with a time of 22:36 in 34th place while Katelin Huckabee (22:59) and Tylo Farrar (24:11) rounded out the top five Tarleton runners in 53rd and 96th place.
Lauren Finley (24:34) and Lillianna Castaneda (25:03) rounded out the TexAnn team in 112th and 126th place, respectively.
Tarleton finished behind numerous nationally ranked foes, including Adams State and Western State – who were less than two minutes apart from first and second place.
“Our region has to be the toughest in the nation,” said Ponder. “We have the most national qualifiers in Division II so to accomplish a feat like this speaks volumes about our girls.”
On the men’s side, however, injuries continued to haunt the Texans as Tarleton didn’t have a runner in the top 50 en route to a 15th place finish.
“It’s one of those bittersweet days because you’re excited for the ladies and disappointed for the guys,” said Ponder. “We knew it would be tough and we had some battles to work through. We realistic felt we could have finished in the top 10, but we’ll take the results and learn from them.”
Dylan Willett (32:33), Chase Rathke (32:38) and James Bodnar (32:57) were the only Texans to finish in the top 100, coming across in 51st, 57th and 65th, respectively.
Ben Haynes (34:32), James Polasek (35:41) and Andrew Clark (36:36) rounded out the Texan runners in 101st, 127th and 129th place, respectively.
For Ponder, this is his first NCAA team to take to nationals in cross country. He had a male individual runner advance to nationals in 2009.
The women will compete in Spokane, Wash. on Nov. 23, 2013.
Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System
Contact: Dameon Myres, director of athletic communications