By Victoria Chavers, Staff Writer—
The UTC Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams ended their season Friday in Tallahassee, Fla. on Friday at the NCAA South Region Championships. The women tied with Samford for 15th and the men took 21st.
Senior Emily Poole, Ringgold, Ga., ran her last race as a Moc, finishing 44th overall with a time of 21:35.9. She’s been a standout runner all season, earning all-conference honors at the SoCon Championships in October. Poole performed better each week, improving her time in both the 5-kilometer and 6-kilometer races by about a minute.
Freshman Mackenzie Jones, Morristown, Tenn., took second for the Mocs and was 56th overall with a time of 21:47.6. Junior Kennedy Thompson, St. Catherine’s, Ontario, was third for Chattanooga at 22:56.1, and sophomore Sophia Neglia, Kingsport, Tenn., was the final scoring runner for the Mocs at 23:39.6.
There were only two seniors on the girls’ team this year, the other being Brianna Nelson, Jefferson, Wis., who was only a couple minutes behind Poole at 24:07.9. Both seniors improved their times throughout the season and were assets to the team.
“This team has steadily improved our region placing over the last three years,” said coach Andy Meyer, “and with five of our seven back, we look for that trend to continue.”
For the men, senior Mark Britt, Lebanon, Tenn., led the team in 99th overall with a time of 34:01.8. Throughout the season, Britt improved his 8-kilometer time from 27:11.5 back in September to 25:57.83 in October. Senior Nathan Watson, Hendersonville, Tenn., was 112th overall and barely behind Britt, with a time of 34:36.0.
“This bunch of guys who have not been the most talented,” said Meyer, “have been outstanding in their passion to improve and their commitment to hard work.
Freshman Jonathan Boyd, Ooltewah, Tenn., finished third for the Mocs with a time of 35:05.7 at 119th. Freshman Ryan Phillips, Murfreesboro, Tenn., was the fourth Chattanooga runner to finish the race, with a time of 36:15.8. Senior Micah Sneller, Lancaster, Penn., was the last to score for the Mocs at 36:58.3.