By Meredith Herman, Sports Information Assistant
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Berry College Cross Country teams competed at the South/Southeast Regional Championship in Newport News, Va., on Saturday afternoon, sending both Alainna Chretien and Abby Carroll to nationals with fifth and eleventh place finishes, respectively.
Overall, the women's team placed 7th out of 34 teams while the men earned an 11th place finish out of 32 programs.
On the men's side, Berry was paced by sophomore captain Parker Roberts who posted a 25:59.4. Each of the Vikings men set personal bests running under 27:30 for the meet. Sophomore Brayden Fulton earned the second spot for the Vikings, running a 26:13.9. Senior Rhett Butler clocked in with a 26:19.9 with Robert Bevins (26:48.9) and Jon Gogal (26:54.3) following. Finally, freshmen Cameron Bensley (27:14.5) and Andy Butzow (27:21.9) posted strong times to round out the Vikings in the men's race.
For the Vikings women, Chretien took 5th overall running a 21:30.4 and securing a spot in nationals. Following, Carroll posted a 22:02.0 placing 11th to join her teammate in advancing. Sophomore Meredith Herman set a personal record with a 22:37.5 and 25th place finish. Additionally, running tight as a team, Alyssa Fowler (24:18.0), Alexa Bilsky (24:26.0) and Elise Barron (24:31.3) clocked respectable times ahead of MaryBeth Rowland who set a PR with a 25:03.8.
WHAT THEY SAID:
“I’m very excited that my last race was one of the best I’ve run. The competition was great and so was the course. All in all, it was a good race. Nationals will be an interesting experience. Hopefully, using the competition, I can run even better than I did at region.” - Alainna Chretien
“God was definitely with me for this one and I’m glad my team was with me for this race. It was my season goal to make it to nationals, and I’m glad to be going with Alainna.” - Abby Carroll
“Fast course, fast conditions, and fast competition led to fast times. We felt coming into the race that we had not yet raced up to our true level of fitness. It was extremely gratifying to do so today. Alainna and Abby are our 2nd and 3rd women to ever qualify for the cross country nationals. Having 3 women being recognized for All-Region is a great honor.” - Head Coach Paul Deaton