WINGATE, NC--With a dominating performance in Saturday's NCAA Division II Southeast Regional for Cross Country at Wingate University, Lees-McRae's women's team earned a bid to the 2007 National Championships. Placing four runners in the top 15 and all seven in the first 33 places, Lees-McRae scored 70 points, outdistancing host Wingate University, who had 117 points in the 16 team field.
With the win the Bobcats have qualified for a trip to Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO for Saturday, November 17th Divison II National Championship race featuring 24 teams and 186 runners.
"This is special. We have worked hard all year long for this moment and to see it happen is so great for these young women," said Coach Craig McPhail. "When you set goals, chase them and achieve them it makes all of the sacrifices worthwhile."
The Lady Bobcats have been ranked No. 1 in the Southeast since the first race of the season and have not looked back. The team has not been beaten by a Division II school this season enroute to their 7th Conference Championship and second Southeast Regional title in 10 years. In 2001 the Bobcats captured their first regional crown and in '03 they finished second to earn a bid to the national championships.
As the case has been all year long the Bobcats have quality depth from top to bottom as they are able to run in a tight pack. Sophomore Dana Lindholm (Weaverville, NC) led the charge Saturday with an 8th place finish over the 6,000m (3.72 mile) course. She had some company with freshman April Harris (Jonesville, VA) in 11th, sophomore Ashley May (Chilhowie, VA) in 14th and sophomore Carla Swart (Buford, GA) in 15th place, good enough for these ladies to earn All-Region awards.
Gina Valenti, a sophomore from Washington, NC, finished in 24th place just in front of junior Demarea Colson (Cheasapeake, VA) while junior Jenny Hurd (Danbury, NC) placed 33rd in the 115 women field.
"We are a goal oriented group, committed to being the best we can be in and out of the classroom. This performance was won by class, dedication, hard work and a lot of laughs!" McPhail said.
For complete results for this race, CLICK HERE.