By MacKenzie Tuttle and Nicole Fredette for Berryvikings.com
ROME, Ga. -- The Berry College women's cross country team raced on their home course at the NCAA Division III Regionals on Saturday morning. The Vikings placed ninth with a team score of 275.
Led by Tamara Surtee's third place finish, Emory University placed first overall with a team total of 62. Christopher Newport Univeristy (125) took home second place. Lydia Cromwell and Hannah Bullen led the Captains with their 15th and 16th-place finishes.
Individually, sophomore Natalie Young took home the championship title for Mary Washington University with a time of 21:42.55 in the 6k race. Bridgewater's Kaylee Kubisiak finished second (21:50.33), right behind Young.
For the Vikings, sophomore Danielle Ferro finished 12th overall out of 205 runners. Ferro raced a five-second PR of 22:58.81, breaking 23 for the first time. She earned all-region honors.
Junior Rachel Dorris also posted a significant PR of 23:48.08. Dorris dropped 15 seconds off her previous PR, placing 45th overall.
"The most challenging part of the race was the competition," Dorris said. "It was a good challenge though, because it got me out in a good racing position and pushed the pace. Running with the seniors for their last cross country race was also exciting–-they're such great teammates!"
Senior and team captain Nicole Fredette raced a five-second PR of 24:16.56 (62nd). Senior Hibah Abuhamdieh shaved 21 seconds off her PR--finishing in 24:28.92 (69th). Senior Kayla Heflin clocked in at 24:59.90 (87th). Heflin broke the 25 minute mark, dropping 21 seconds off her PR.
"I never thought I'd run sub-25," Heflin said. "My 5K PR coming into berry was 25:36, so the improvement is incredible. The team is on another level this season, and it showed today. It's bittersweet to end my cross country career, but I couldn't have imagined it going any better."
The NCAA DIII Regionals puts a close to the Berry cross country season. The Vikings closed their season with six personal records and reached their goal of top 10 in the NCAA DIII South-Southeast Region.