CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The 28th-ranked Duke women’s cross country team earned a fourth-place finish at the Southeast Regional Championship Friday in Charlottesville, Va. The Blue Devils scored 143 points, just one point behind third-place NC State. No. 11 Virginia captured the team title with 57 points and No. 19 William and Mary placed second with 69 points. Virginia Tech rounded out the top five with 157 points.
“I was hoping we’d finish top two, but now that I look at the results, those two teams ran really really well today,” Duke women’s head cross country coach Kevin Jermyn said. “It just wasn’t a feasible goal for the level of fitness our team is currently at. We had a fair day. Certainly wish we could have done better, in terms of moving on to nationals. It seems the missing link was having a healthier middle of the season to get some points so we could move on to nationals as an at-large team because getting an automatic qualifier, I think, was a little above our capacity for today’s level of fitness.”
Graduate student Juliet Bottorff and junior Carolyn Baskir both received All-Southeast Region accolades after placing fourth and 24th, respectively. Bottorff earned the honor for the fourth time in her career, while Baskir received her second.
Bottorff, appearing in the final cross country regional competition of her collegiate career maintained contact with the lead pack throughout a majority of the race. Bottorff positioned herself in an eight-runner pack through the 3,000-meter mark and did not relinquish her place through the final 3,000m, averaging 5:24 per mile over the 6,000m Panorama Farm cross country course to finish in a time of 20:08.7.
Baskir stepped to the start line for the third time this season. The Chapel Hill, N.C., native positioned herself in the top 25 at the start of the race and worked her way up to her final, 24th-place finish, clocking a 21:12.1.
Freshmen Hannah Meier and Haley Meier, as well as sophomore Anima Banks all competed in their first Southeast Regional Championship. Hannah Meier narrowly missed earning All-Southeast Region honors, finishing 28th overall in a time of 21:18.0. Hannah Meier ran a strong second 3,000m, covering the first 3,000m in a time of 10:24.1, before passing seven competitors on her way to the finish. Banks placed 40th, in a time of 21:27.4. The Mamaroneck, N.Y., native scored for the Blue Devils in each of her four finishes this season. Haley Meier rounded out the top five for Duke, placing 47th overall in a time of 21:39.5.
Senior Jessie Rubin returned to the Blue Devil lineup after missing a majority of the season to injury. Rubin committed to a fast pace early, placing in the top 30 through the 3,000m mark. The Rockville, Md., native finished 48th overall, notching a time of 21:40.7.
Junior Kelsey Lakowske, battling a week-long illness, placed 144th overall, running a time of 23:04.5. Lakowske moved up throughout the race, bypassing 29 runners en route to her finish.
“I thought we went into the race with a lot of composure and more relaxed," Jermyn said. "I was happy with that. They got themselves in a good place before the race. I do think we made some good mental improvements.”