Women's Cross Country

Bobcat Women Capture 8th Conference Carolinas Cross Country Championship in 11 Years

BELMONT, N.C. - Lees-McRae's women's cross country won the 2008 Conference Carolinas championship this Saturday at Belmont Abbey College.

The Bobcats scored 48 points to outdistance second place Converse's 78 points by thirty to capture their eighth title in 11 years.

"It's so much fun to see the women accomplish their goals and see their hard work pay off with today's results," head coach Craig McPhail said. "It's a tribute to how they live and what they deserve with a win like today's."

In the final women's team results, Anderson was third with 94. Limestone (98), and St. Andrews (109) round out the top five, while Coker (130), Pfeiffer (194), Erskine (197), Barton (244), Mount Olive (242) and Belmont Abbey (293) round out the scoring.

Anderson University freshman Whitney Bishoff claimed the individual title with a time of 18:55. That gives her a sweep of the individual awards, claiming MVP and Freshman of the Year honors, as well as earning first-team All-Conference honors. Alyson Trovato (St. Andrews) finished second at 19:20, followed by Dana Lindholm of Lees-McRae (19:52), Courtney Rankin of Limestone (19:58) and Kendyl Seawright (20:01) of Coker. Those five all earned first-team honors.

McPhail claimed Coach of the Year honors, which is his eighth Coach of the Year award since taking over the program in 1998.

The Bobcats had three other runners claim all-conference honors in the women's race with Kira Shoemaker (Atlanta, Ga.) finishing 6th overall, April Harris (Jonesville, Va.) 10th and garnering her third all-conference honor, and junior Gina Valenti (Washington, N.C.) coming in 11th. In McPhail's career as head coach of the Bobcats there have been 72 student-athletes receive all-conference honors.

"We ran as a pack for the first mile or so, then were able to go for places after that," McPhail said. "The women ran smart, paced themselves well and made the necessary moves to win today."

Rounding out the scoring for Lees-McRae was senior Demarea Colson (Chesapeake, Va.) with an 18th place finish, followed by teammate Ashley May (Chilhowie, Va.) in 19th.

Senior Jenny Hurd (Danbury, N.C.) ran her final collegiate cross country race for the Bobcats finishing 38th and junior Karyn Bragman (Clayton, N.C.) also ended her season with a 56th place finish.

The Bobcats are ranked No.3 in the NCAA Southeast Division II Region and will now advance to the NCAA Regionals hosted by Wingate University Saturday, November 8th in Monroe, N.C. The top two teams at the regional will advance to the NCAA DII National Championships hosted by Slippery Rock University.

Pictured Top: Dana Lindholm

Pictured Bottom Upper: Craig McPhail Coach of the Year

Pictured Bottom Lower: 2008 Conference Carolinas Champions