After coming off a strong Atlantic 10 championship performance, the men’s and women’s cross country teams were back in action at the NCAA regionals in Springfield, Mo. The women’s team competed against 30 other teams at regionals and the men’s team competed against 28 other teams. The women’s team finished in 10th place in the region while the men’s team finished 19th in the region.
“I think that we had a very positive weekend, everyone ran well,” Head Coach Jon Bell said.
The women’s side was lead once again by junior Margo Richardson. She set a new school record with a time of 21:05.24 and a 13th place overall finish in the women’s 6 kilometer race.
Jessica Hoefert came in 43rd place and Lauren Fyalka came in 55th place on the women’s side to back up Richardson’s effort.
“The women’s team beat Missouri, University of Missouri at Kansas City and all the other teams in the state of Missouri, so we are the number one women’s team in Missouri,” Bell said.
On the men’s side, the Bills had two strong finishes from Michael Scolarici and Tim Zellmer.
Scolarici finished in 48th place while Zellmer finished in 60th place.
“The men’s side had a program best at the regionals. Michael [Scolarici] and Tim [Zellmer] did a great job,” Bell said.
Richardson’s performance all season gave her all-region honors, but she missed earning an opportunity to run in NCAA championships by 12 seconds.
“Overall we had a great season. Our team finished the highest it has ever finished in program history at regionals last Friday,” Richardson said. “It is a perfect example of how hard work, team effort, and dedication can bring success.”
A number of key runners will return next season to the team both on the women’s and men’s side.
Richardson will return for her senior year to lead the team again, along with Hoefert and Fyalka on the women’s side.
She’ll be looking to improve on this season’s impressive performance, which in itself marked a number of firsts for the program. On the men’s side, Scolarici and Zellmer will both return for their junior year.
“I think that we are on the cusp of being very good, I cannot predict exactly what will happen, but I have a very good feeling for next year,” Bell said.
The team’s season is over; however, the future looks bright for the cross country team.