PBA Women's Cross Country Lands at No. 7 in USTFCCCA Pre-Season Regional Rankings
August 28, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
NEW ORLEANS, La.- After a top-five finish at last season’s NCAA South Regional race while returning nearly their full roster, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s cross country team has their sights on even loftier goals in 2012. With the season set to begin in just a few short days, the team has been selected No. 7 in the preseason U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South regional rankings.
Under second-year head coach Trish Butler, the Fish are expected to compete in the upper-half of the region by season’s end as they return a bevy of young talent to the team.
Running without NCAA All-American Meghan Gilmore due to injury last season, the team came together to present a formidable scoring squad that would finish fifth at the NCAA Regional last season.
With Gilmore back in the fold for this season as a redshirt senior, the team hopes to continue to see the development of its other top runners like senior Faith Warren and standout rookies from a season ago in Kourtney Sumner and Jessica Sexton.
Warren and Sumner both claimed NCAA All-Region honors last season as Warren completed the women’s 6,000 meter race at Dover Park in a time of 23:33, good for 16th place, while Sumner cruised in right behind at 23:43, good for 22nd place.
Narrowly missing All-Region accolades was Katherine Harvey who returns this season as a senior and one of the veteran runners Coach Butler is expected to count on. Harvey completed the 6K course with a time of 23:54 while Sexton finished at 24:53 rounding out PBA’s top-five finishers.
The top team in the USTFCCCA regional rankings for the South Region comes of little surprise as the University of Tampa is the three-time reigning champion. They were followed by Nova Southeastern University at No. 2 while the University of West Florida sat in at No. 3.
The University of Alabama-Huntsville settled in at No. 4 while Delta State University and the University of West Georgia were Nos. 5 and 6 respectively.
Rounding out the top-ten behind PBA were Saint Leo University (No. 8), Florida Tech (No. 9) and West Alabama University (No. 10).
The Sailfish will open their season on Saturday, August 31st at the Early Bird Invitational in Tampa, Florida.