DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke women’s cross country team sends eight competitors to Charlottesville, Va., Friday for the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships. The six-kilometer contest is slated for a 10:30 a.m. start.
Freshmen Michaela Reinhart and Amanda Beach will look to build off strong performances in the ACC Championships. Reinhart was the top Duke finisher at the ACC Championships with a personal best time of 20:34.4 to finish 16th. The Lexington, Ky., was named All-ACC and Freshmen of the Year for her performance. Just behind Reinhart was Beach who had her own personal best time of 20:35.0 to come in 17th place. Beach also earned all-conference honors.
“Michaela and Amanda have been extremely consistent in their training,” said head coach Rhonda Riley. “They have adapted to the training and have worked hard at remaining healthy throughout the season.”
Also running in her first regional championship will be sophomore Sophia Parvizi-Wayne. The London, England native has been the third Blue Devil finisher in all three of her races this season. She will be joined by junior co-captain Olivia Gwynn and freshman Leigha Torino. Gwynn is coming off a personal-best six-kilometer time of 21:46.2 at the ACC Championships, finishing as Duke’s fifth and final scorer. Torino set her personal best time earlier this season when she crossed the finish line in 22:29.24 at the ECU Pirates Invite to come in 12th place.
The Blue Devils will have three runners with experience in the regional championships. Sophomore Lindsay Billings and junior Sheridan Wilbur return after competing in the 2016 edition. Billings had success in that 2016 race as she finished second among Duke runners to close out her rookie season. Wilbur has come on strong in the postseason, finishing fourth among Duke runners at the conference championships, the first time she has scored this season. Rounding out the returners is junior Kim Hallowes who raced at the 2015 Southeast Regionals. Hallowes ran a personal-best time of 21:10 earlier this season at the Paul Short Invite and has been among the top five Duke runners in four of her five races.
“I would love to see our team all pack up together and work with one another in order to keep our one to five spread as small as possible,” Riley said. “They have been training this way all season and I’m looking forward to seeing them race on Friday.”
The Blue Devils enter the Regional Championships ranked seventh in the Southeast Regional rankings. The field will be headlined by three nationally ranked teams, including ACC Champion and fifth-ranked NC State. Also ranked nationally are Furman (12) and Eastern Kentucky (23).
“This is a challenging course with the hills,” Riley added. “We need to be patient earlier on in order to have a solid race. If we can hold back a little bit more than at the ACC Championships, we will be in a good position to finish well in the region.”
For resuts from the competition, visit here.