Southeast cross-country places 8th and 2nd at OVC Championships
Southeast hosted the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Cross Country Championships at the Osage Center on Oct. 27.
The women’s team placed second overall out of 12 teams with 80 points and the men’s team placed eighth with 217 points.
On the women’s side, all-conference runners senior Kaitlyn Shea, senior Sydney O’Brien and sophomore Carli Knott led the way. Shea was seventh in 17 minutes, 27.7 seconds, O’Brien followed right behind her placing eighth with a personal best of 17:36.9, and Knott notched her career best of 17:56.3 to finish 10th.
The rest of the women’s team finished about a minute later, with senior Rachel Hutchcraft placing 20th in 18:24.6 and senior Natalie Kopplin, in 36th at 18:59.9. This was the Colonel’s seventh straight conference title and 32nd overall.
“I was really happy with the women today,” Southeast coach Ryan Lane said. “I honestly think that they were the best team, other than Eastern Kentucky, in the conference this year, they’ve been really really good,” Lane said. “Belmont had a tough team, Morehead had a tough team, but our girls are just really strong, and I think we’re going to go the regional meet and try and be in the top 12 to 15 and get ourselves ranked there.”
Eastern Kentucky proved to be the team to beat for Southeast as the Redhawks and Colonels ran neck and neck all the way to the finish line as both team’s top three runners placed in the top 10. The Colonels came out on top when sophomore Lilian Ndorobo managed to pass Shea on the finishing stretch and beat her by half a second and secured the Championship win for the Eastern Kentucky women with a score of 33 points.
The Southeast men finished with a score of 217.
Senior Daniel Plunkett was the first to finish for the Redhawks in 25:47.2 for 33rd place, and junior Curtis Reed followed him at 26:16.0 for 40th. Sophomore Chris Durr placed 45th at 26:28.9, senior James Kosbar was 4th in 26:29.5 and junior Griffen Bailey placed 55th in 27:19.7.
“We had a pack of four guys that ran between 15 and 20 spots better than a year ago, so I’m really excited for that, because they are significantly ahead of where they were running last year at this time on a slightly faster course because it was dry then,” Lane said. “So I would say our top four stood off pretty good on the men’s side.”
Eastern Kentucky won the men’s race with freshman James Sugira leading the way in a first-place time of 23:31.6. It was the fastest time in OVC Championship history and helped solidify the Colonel’s 13th straight conference championship first place title.
The Southeast cross country team’s final meet will be the NCAA Midwest Regionals on Friday, Nov. 9, in Peoria, Illinois.