JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State University women's and men's cross country teams each posted one of their best showings at this Saturday's (Oct. 27) 2012 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Championships in Bowling Green, Ky.
The A-State women, who are presently ranked 10th in the South Central Region, finished a program all-time highest second place among the 12 conference participants with 58 points and only were six points in back of Georgia State's first-place 52 points output. The Red Wolves' noteworthy league meet performance in the 5K event at Kereiakes Park was a result of having four runners place within the top 11 individual finishers.
ASU sophomore Kristina Aubert earned All-SBC First-Team laurels by claiming third place overall with a 17:51.5 time and was only 10 seconds off Georgia State Katharine Showalter's conference-meet winning 17:41.1 time.
Sophomore Rexi Parcells and freshman Abbey Dixon placed eighth and 10th respectively to attain second-team all-conference accolades. Parcells clocked a time of 18:24.4 while Dixon crossed the finish line in a time of a personal season-best 18:27.5. Senior Sam Salinas, who posted a squad-best 14th-place 18:43 time at the 2011 SBC Championships (10/29), came in 11th as a result of producing an 18:32.0 time. For her efforts, Salinas garnered third-team all-conference kudos. Sophomore Tilda Helgessonplaced 26th for the Red Wolves with a 19:13.2 time while sophomore Chelsey Roberson wound up 37th (19:39.0) and sophomore Heather Hammett took 50th place (20:02.0). Junior Bailey Sisson tallied a 20:54.2 time to garner 65th place in the 83-runner field.
"We are well pleased with the women's runner-up finish since it's our highest placing ever in the conference and we even had a key runner missing due to sickness," said ASU coach Kyle Chandler. "This is the fourth consecutive year with which the women have finished in the top half at the conference meet. Six of our eight women who competed had run on this course previously and all but one ran a personal course record. That's a significant accomplishment for each of these women."
The Red Wolves now turn their focus to the 2012 NCAA South Central Regional Championship, which will be held on Nov. 9 at Agri Park in Fayetteville, Ark.
On the men's side, Arkansas State came in ninth as the Red Wolves accumulated 221 points. Arkansas-Little Rock captured the conference meet title in the men's 8K race with 58 points in the 12-team field.
The A-State men were paced by sophomore Luke Lindsley and freshman Lance Beckman, who came in 36th and 37th with times of 26:51.7 and 26:52.7, respectively. Senior David Mills posted a 44th-place 27:20.1 time while senior Briar Becton was 54th in a time of 28:02.0. Junior Devin Reed ran in a 28:04.0 time to finish one place behind Becton in the 55th spot.
Freshman Jesse Duvall captured 58th place by registering a 28:18.3 time. Junior Ryutaro Kinjo had a 28:38.9 time to garner 62nd place and freshman Tyler Davis rounded out the A-State contingent by racking up a 67th-place 29:11.6 time.
"The men were projected to finish 11th of 12 teams in the preseason coaches poll so we're really excited for their ninth-place showing and exceeding our expectations," said Chandler. "Luke (Lindsley) and Lance (Beckman) ran smart races by being patientand gradually moving up throughout the race about 20 places each from mile to the finish. The improving depth was evidenced by the men's team's time which was the fastest ever on this course and over 30 seconds faster than last year. Additionally, all four men who had run this course previously ran a personal course record. Collectively they showed a lot of grit and their efforts show a spark for future progress."