MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — The Washington and Lee women's cross country team finished fourth out of 27 schools at the NCAA South/Southeast Region Championship on Saturday hosted by Berry College. Sophomore Samantha Yates (Birmingham, Ala./St. Paul's School) was the top individual for the Generals, finishing ninth out of the 213 competitors to qualify for the NCAA Division III National Championship.
Emory, the 18th-ranked team in the country, was the team champion with 68 points, while Rhodes claimed second with 103 points. Christopher Newport took third (117 points), and the Blue and White totaled 126 points. Emory and Rhodes earned the two automatic bids to the National Championship.
This marks the second year in a row Yates has advanced to the national meet. The Top 7 individuals who are not on a qualifying team receive an invite to the National Championship, and Yates earned the final spot as an individual, crossing the finish line in 22:49.98 on the 6k course.
Sophomore Maggie Seybold (Cockeysville, Md./McDonogh School) was one spot behind Yates in 10th (22:58.67) and missed qualifying for nationals by one place. Sophomore Kirsten McMichael (Eighty Four, Pa./Ringgold) took 29th in 23:44.31, junior Rachel Steffen (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) was 42nd with a time of 23:55.72 and first-year Julia Moody (Houston, Texas/St. John's School) placed 47th (24:09.14) to round out the scoring.
Senior Serena Gale-Butto of Centre won the individual race with a time of 21:51.74. Also competing for W&L was first-year Katie Bearup (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley) and sophomore Kristi Miluski (Tall Timbers, Md./Leonardtown). Bearup finished 58th in 24:34.41 and Miluski was 108th (25:40.23).
Yates, Seybold and McMichael each garnered all-region accolades. This marks the second time Yates and Seybold have received the honor, and it is the first for McMichael. Yates is the fifth runner in program history to qualify for multiple NCAA National Championships and the third to do it in her first two years.
The NCAA Championship takes place on Saturday, November 19, at 11:30 am at Louisville, Ky.
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