Second Place Finish for Southern Miss at Conference Championship
CLINTON, Miss. -- The Southern Miss women's cross country team took home second at the 2017 Conference USA Championship on Saturday at Choctaw Trails in Clinton, Miss. and Kate Mattox was named Freshman of the Meet following a stellar performance.
“Obviously you want to come and win a championship but with the roster and how young we are and the composition of this team, I thought second would be an amazing year," said cross country coach Aaron Kindt.
Second place is the highest conference finish in Southern Miss history. The Golden Eagles came in with 87 points overall, Charlotte captured the women's title with a score of 64. Rice with 95, UAB with 97, and North Texas with 135 rounded out the top five.
Caroline Sang from Charlotte won the individual title with a time of 16:27.82.
“The girls ran a fabulous race,” head coach Jon Stuart said. “They were courageous and worked hard and worked together. I can’t be more pleased with this finish and I can’t say enough about coach Kindt and the job he’s done with these ladies. I’m just so proud right now.”
“The theme all year has been to run as a team, run together, and we had six people in a 30 second spread today," said Kindt. “As a team we ran a really hard race, at the 2500 meters we were fifth, but we held our composure, kept working and battled until the finish.”
Mattox led the Golden Eagles with an 11th place finish with a time of 17:43.28 in covering the 5K race. Sophomore Regen McGee was right behind her, coming in 12th with a time of 17:45.88. Those finishes garnered Mattox and McGee second team All-Conference accolades.
Savannah McMillon was the third Golden Eagle to cross the finish line with a time of 17:57.58. Her 19th place finish allowed her to make third team All-Conference honors while senior Courtney Filliben ran a time of 18:09.33 to place 21st and earn third team All-Conference.
“Watching Kate, Regen and Savannah, step up all year and be so steady so young has been huge for us," continued Kindt. "Then today, watching Courtney run and be All-Conference, that’ll be a moment I remember for the rest of my life.”
Natalya Dekleva-Hall ran a time of 18:13.01finishing 24th, Monika Gebarzewska was close behind finishing 28th with a time of 18:17.82. Freshman Emma Kate Holdbrooks, running the 5K in 18:40.03 rounded out the squad.
The Golden Eagles will get a week off of competition to prepare for the NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on November 10, 2017.