The Coastal Carolina womens cross country team splits up this weekend and heads to two different meets. Head Coach Alan Connie will be sending his top six runners to run the 6K at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. The remaining team members will head to Rock Hill, S.C. to compete in the 4K Winthrop Invitational.
Coastal will be competing in the NCAA Pre-Nationals for the seventh straight year this season. In the past, the team has been considered "middle of the pack," finishing between 18th and 21st place out of close to 200 teams. The teams highest finish was in 1996, when the Lady Chanticleers finished 10th and was ranked 24th in the country.
This season, 26 of the top 30 schools will be competing against the Lady Chanticleers at Pre-Nationals including the top seven teams in the region: North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest, Duke, William and Mary, Louisville and Virginia.
Coastal is the only South Carolina team making the trip to Terre Haute. Big South Rival Liberty will be the only other conference team to face the Lady Chanticleers in the meet. Last year, the Lady Flames finished as the Pre-Nationals Runner-up.
The women are set to run at 11 or 11:30 on Saturday, depending on what heat they are competing in. That information is set to be released early Friday, October 13.
On the National Scene...
The top spot in the USTFCCCA Division I womens cross country rankings stayed the same following a light weekend of competition as many schools rested up for Saturdays big Pre-Nationals event in Terre Haute, Ind.
Stanfords women received all 13 first-place votes in this weeks poll, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced Monday, October 9.
Rounding out the top 10 is Colorado, Michigan, Arkansas, North Carolina State, BYU, Princeton, UC Santa Barbara, Wisconsin and Providence.
No. 2 Colorado and third-ranked Michigan swapped spots in this weeks poll. Iowa, ranked eighth in last weeks poll, dropped to No. 11 this week.
Iowas drop enabled UC Santa Barbara, Wisconsin and Providence to each move up one spot in this weeks rankings.
The second 10 consists of Iowa, Florida State, Wake Forest, Washington, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Illinois, Minnesota, Baylor and Duke.
Virginia Tech moved into the top 30 this week, replacing Indiana at No. 30. Boston University moved up one spot to No. 25 following its victory at the New England Championships.
Indiana State is playing host to the Pre-Nationals Saturday on the same course that will be used for the NCAA Division I Mens and Womens Cross Country Championships (Nov. 20).
Viellehner Gets Honors Again...
Freshman Julia Viellehner (Winhoring, Germany/Maria Ward Gymnasium) was named the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Womens Cross Country Runner of the Week for October 4 and September 20. In her last race, Viellehner placed third out of 237 runners. In her first two collegiate races, she set two new course records and won in both races.
Good News from the NCAA...
Junior transfer, Diana Jepchirchir (Kampala, Uganda/University of New Orleans) has been declared eligible and competed in her first collegiate race as a Lady Chanticleer at the Paul Short Run, September 29. She had a strong finish of 37th. Jepchirchir competed in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field at the University of New Orleans where she was the Sun Belt Conference Cross Country Champion with a time of 17:24.98. In 2005, she was also named Sun Belt Runner of the Year. Jepchirchir finished 24th at the NCAA South Region Championship which earned All-Region honors.
Viellehner Gets Two...
Viellehner has won and set two new course records in her first two races as a Lady Chant. At the CCU Invitational, Sept. 16, she won her second straight race in her first collegiate season, setting a new course record of 17:28.68 to defeat runner-up Cassie King of North Carolina by over 15 seconds. In her first collegiate meet, the Covered Bridge Open, Viellehner finished first with a time of 18:10 in the 5,000-meter-event, which set a new collegiate course record.
Paul Short Run...
The Coastal Carolina womens cross country squad turned in a solid performance, placing 10th at the nationally-renowned Paul Short Run in Lehigh, Pa., Sept. 29. The event was composed of 35 teams and 237 runners from across the country. The Lady Chanticleers scored 290 points in the meet, as nationally-ranked Princeton won the meet by a single point over Wisconsin, also a nationally-ranked squad.
Julia Viellehner turned in another outstanding performance in her first year, setting a new Big South Conference and school 6K record with a time of 20:33, placing third in a very strong field. She bettered the old mark of former Lady Chant Anne Marie Moutsinga by five seconds at this distance.
Junior Diana Jepchirchir, in her first race after receiving clearance from the NCAA to compete, finished 37th in a time of 21:42, while sophomore Felicitas Mensing (Neuhausen, Germany/Leplergy Secondary School) took 47th just 12 seconds behind Jepchirchir in 21:54. Rounding out the Coastal effort was junior Aubrey Bergquist (Pataskala, Ohio/Watkins Memorial) in 73rd in a time of 22:30, freshman Theresa Schamberger (Kendalville, Ind./East Noble) in 130th with 23:24 and senior Danielle Hagler (Beach Haven, N.J./Southern Regional) placing 185th with a time of 24:12.
The Coastal Carolina women split the results at the 2006 CCU Cross Country Invitational, held at Quail Creek Golf Course, Sept. 16. In the meet scored as a double dual, the Lady Chanticleers defeated East Carolina 19-37 and lost to North Carolina 24-35.
Freshman Julia Viellehner won her second straight race in her first collegiate season, setting a new course record of 17:28.68 to defeat runner-up Cassie King of North Carolina by over 15 seconds. Sophomore Felicitas Mensing was next for Coastal at fourth in 18:15.58, while freshman Theresa Schamberger was seventh at 19:02.86. Claudia Witte (Warlin, Germany/Sportgymnasium Neubrandenburg) placed 13th at 19:39.49, Danielle Hagler placed 14th at 20:00,
senior Nikki Jasperson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) placed 19th at 20:22.30, Peggy Busbee (Aiken, S.C./South Aiken) clocked in at 21:18.53 notching 24th place and Kathryn Zenowitz (Groton Long Pt, Conn./Robert E. Fitch Senior High School) placed 26th with a time of 21:31.49.
Covered Bridge Open...
The Coastal Carolina womens cross country team placed third at the Covered Bridge Open Friday, September 1 with 69 points. Freshman Julia Viellehner won with a time of 18:10 in the 5,000-meter-event, which set a new collegiate course record. CCU finished behind Florida State and Appalachian State with scores of 30 and 53, respectively.
The Lady Chanticleers had two runners place in the top five with Viellehner and sophomore Felicitas Mensing who placed fifth. She finished with a time of 18:35, almost a minute faster than her ninth place finish last year. Three other runners scored points for Coastal in the meet, freshman Theresa Schamberger finished 14th with a time of 19:29, junior Aubrey Bergquist clocked in at the 18th slot with 19:37 with a time of 20:38.
Senior Claudia Witte crossed the finish line 31st. Also running for the Lady Chants placing 53rd with a time of 22:32 was freshman Peggy Busbee.
Do I Hear Six in a Row?...
Leading CCU as it attempts to capture its sixth consecutive Big South Championship title is senior captain Danielle Hagler, who completed the 6k course 97th at 22:50 in the Southeast Regional meet last season. Sophomore Felicitas Mensing comes off an impressive freshman campaign, placing fifth at the Big South Championships and 37th at the Southeast Regional at 21:28, as well as notching 2005 All-Big South Honors.
Domination in the Big South....
Coastal Carolina Universitys womens cross country squad has been chosen first in the Big South Conferences annual preseason poll, as voted by the Leagues Head Cross Country Coaches and Sports Information Directors and announced today by the Conference office.
Coastal Carolina has been picked to win its sixth-straight Big South womens cross country title, receiving 13 first-place votes and 157 out of a possible 162 points. The Lady Chants, which have claimed a Big South-record 11 championships, finished 16 points ahead of second-place Liberty.
The 2005 Big South cross country season begins Friday, Sept. 1. The New Balance mens and womens cross country Conference Championship is slated for Saturday, Oct. 28, and will be hosted by Charleston Southern University.