Ole Miss Cross Country wins NCAA South Regional
Published 1:48 pm Friday, November 9, 2018
The historic season for the Ole Miss men’s cross country team continues, this time winning the NCAA South Regional in dominating form, beating second-place Florida State by 47 points and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
All five scoring runners for the Rebels finished in the top 15, led by junior Farah Abdulkarim’s third place finish. The time separating Abdulkarim and Ole Miss’ fifth runner was only 29.2 seconds.
Six Rebels earned All-Region honors, an Ole Miss program record. Nearing the end of their historic season, head coach Ryan Vanhoy says he was very proud of the team and how they’ve grown, but that these accomplishments were not exactly what he was expecting.
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“On paper, at the beginning of the season, this was not the best team we’ve ever had. I felt very good about the guys we had but we were a little unproven,” said Vanhoy. “Relying on such a young group of guys and having the kind of success we had makes you feel good when you think about the future as well.”
This was the first time the Rebel men had raced at the 10-kilometer distance on the season. While qualifying was necessary, getting adjusted to running the longer distance was certainly on the team’s mind.
“I think that was the main goal for us at the regional,” head coach Vanhoy said. “Let’s get in the race, get adjusted to running 10k for the first time all year and use this as a dress rehearsal for next week.”
The women’s team finished third place at regionals, missing out on an automatic qualifying spot for the NCAA Championships by just 23 points. While the third place finish was not an automatic qualifying spot, it was enough to earn the Rebels one of 13 at-large bids to the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Clio Ozanne-Jaques led the way for the women, placing fifth. Ozanne-Jaques was one of four Rebel women to make the All-Region team.
Next up for the cross country teams is a trip to Madison, Wisconsin next weekend for the NCAA Championships.
“Our expectation is to outperform our ranking going into the meet. Whatever we’re ranked nationally next week, our goal will be to go into Madison and outperform our ranking,” Vanhoy said.
Ole Miss All-Region Finishers
Men’s All-Region (10k)
3. Farah Abdulkarim – 31:18.6
6. Waleed Suliman – 31:22.0
8. Mark Robertson – 31:30.9
13. Mario Garcia Romo – 31:46.7
15. Cade Bethmann – 31:47.8
20. Ben Savino – 32:01.4
Women’s All-Region (6k)
5. Clio Ozanne-Jaques – 20:34.1
14. Lisa Vogelgesang – 21:00.3
20. Maddie King – 21:09.9
25. Ylvi Traxler – 21:12.8