The Arkansas State University women's cross country team hopes its recent success on the course continues as the Red Wolves compete in the 2012 NCAA Division I South Central Regional Championships this Friday (Nov. 9) at Fayetteville, Ark.
The regional championships will be held at Agri Park and are being hosted by the University of Arkansas. The women's 6K championship race will begin at 11 a.m. (CT) with the men's 10K event to follow at approximately 12:15 p.m. (CT).
"We are very excited to run on the Chili Pepper Invite course once more for regionals," said ASU coach Jim Patchell. "Our current ranking of number nine regionally is the highest in the history of the program and I think we can move that up on race day."
The A-State women's cross country team is presently listed an all-time best ninth in the latest (Oct. 29) United States Track and Field/Cross Country CoachesAssociation (USTFCCCA) Division I South Central Regional Rankings. The Red Wolves are coming off a school-best second-place showing at the 2012 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Championships (Oct. 27) in Bowling Green, Ky.
Those ASU student-athletes scheduled to participate in the women's regional meet include senior Sam Salinas, junior Bailey Sisson, sophomores Kristina Aubert, Heather Hammett, Rexi Parcells, Chelsey Roberson, and Tilda Helgesson along with freshman Abbey Dixon. This fall, Aubert earned first-team All-SBC plaudits while Dixon and Parcells each received conference second-team recognition. Salinas collected third-team all-league accolades this 2012 season.
Arkansas State will seek to improve upon last season's (Nov. 13) 13th-place performance at the 23-team 2012 NCAA South Central Regional Championships held at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Sam Salinas is the Red Wolves' top returning performer at last season's regional meet as she posted a 60th-place 22:45.0 time among the 149 individual competitors.
On the men's side, A-State will be represented by sophomore Luke Lindsley and freshman Lance Beckman.
The South Central Region is comprised of teams from a three-state range-Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas-and consists of programs from eight difference conferences-the Big 12, Conference USA, Great West, Southeastern Conference, Southland, Southwestern Athletic Conference, Sun Belt and Western Athletic Conference.
The South Central Region is one of nine NCAA Division I regional sites with theother host sites being Madison, Wis. (Great Lakes); University Park, Pa. (Mid-Atlantic); Springfield, Mo. (Midwest); Fort Collins, Colo. (Mountain);Madison, Conn. (Northeast); Tallahassee, Fla. (South); Charlotte, N.C. (Southeast); and Seattle, Wash. (West).
The regional meets lead up to the 2012 NCAA Division I Championships, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The top two teams and top four individuals not on an advancing team receive an automatic berth into the national meet. Additional teams and individuals are chosen through an at-large selection process.