The Oglethorpe cross country teams competed Saturday at the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional in Mount Berry, Georgia, on the campus of Berry College, with the men finishing 17th out of 29 teams at the event. The Stormy Petrels also got several quality individual performances, as freshman Glenda Tutt finished 69th on the women's side and the men's team placed three members in the race's top 100.
The men's 17th-place finish came in a total of two hours, 21 minutes and 38.7 seconds with an average finish of 28 minutes, 19.7 seconds. That mark put them ahead of both USA South conference champion Piedmont and American Southwest Conference champion Texas-Dallas. The Petrels also served as the only all-freshman team in the competition.
Tutt finished in 69th place for the women out of 213 total participants, posting a time of 24:46 over the six-kilometer course. It served as the second-fastest time in the history of the Oglethorpe women's cross country program. Fellow freshman Hava Stenn put up a time of 25:38.4 to finish in 107th place.
"I was very happy with Glenda and Hava today as they competed in their first regional championship," said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse. "They stayed aggressive until the end and did a great job against the best teams in the region. It was a great end to their freshman year!"
On the men's side, freshman Nick Evans finished first among Petrels, coming in 77th in 27:49.9 on the eight-kilometer course. He was one of three Petrels to finish in the top 100, as freshman Omari Miller came in 98th with a time of 28:11.8 and fellow freshman Jonathan Vernon finished 100th out of 208 competitors as he posted a time of 28:14.5. Freshmen Mateo Villa and Nick Berardi also scored for the Petrels, both finishing at under 29:20.
"After a super-fast start, the men hung tough to three miles left in the race and then had to deal with some adversity," said Shellhouse. "Our top guys did great battling until the end and really showed why the future is very bright for this team. I think there are big things to come for track and field season and next cross country season. I'm very proud of these guys!"
The event rounds out the season for the Oglethorpe cross country teams, but not before posting the best SAA finish in their history, with the men finishing sixth and the women taking seventh. Much of the squad will compete on the track and field teams in the spring, but the cross country teams will return next fall, looking to move further up the SAA standings.