TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Concluding the 2013 season, Mississippi State cross country teams will return home with a pair of commendable finishes at Friday's NCAA South Regional hosted by the University of Alabama.
The Lady Bulldogs totaled 198 points, while the men earned 242 as they each landed spots in seventh place. MSU coach Houston Franks’ women out-scored conference competitors Auburn and Tennessee, while the MSU men topped rivals Alabama and Ole Miss. Each squad raced in a field comprised of nearly 30 teams and 200 athletes.
While the season may have ended for some, two standouts for the Maroon and White will wait until tomorrow to see if they receive an at-large bid to Nationals. Junior Damian Roszko and freshman Rhianwedd Price led the way for MSU, claiming the top spots for their squads in their respective races. Roszko posted a time of 30:26.34 in his first-ever 10K to finish 12th, while Price clocked a 20:33.58 to finish 12th in the 6K. If selected, the two will compete at the 2013 NCAA Championships, which are slated for Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Bulldogs also saw leadership from senior John Valentine, who has provided top scores for the team all season. Finishing second for the MSU men, the distance veteran crossed the line 26th overall with a time of 30:46.89 in the 10K. Following Valentine was fellow senior Juan Sanchez (62nd, 31:35.25) and junior Cameron Vernier (65th, 31:37.92).
On the women’s side, sophomore Cornelia Griesche battled to claim a spot in 23rd with a time of 20:49.78 in the 6K.
“Cornelia really fought hard to finish at the top of the pack for our women,” Franks said. “She was in 38th at the 4K mark and really stepped up to lead the team at the end.”
“We ran much better as a unit today than we did at SEC Championships,” Franks said. “Obviously, we wanted to achieve even greater results than seventh place, but we had some strong performances, and we have the confidence we need heading into track season.”
Winner: Colleen Quigley, Florida State, 19.58.55
MSU: 12. Rhianwedd Price, 20:33.58; 23. Cornelia Griesche, 20:49.78; 52. Emma Neigel, 21:22.21; 58. Katie Huston, 21:27.53; 64. Lisa Ziegler, 21:31.21; 74. Carmen Brothers, 21:39.99; 97. Jodie McGuff, 21:57.44;
Team Results: 1. Florida State, 2. Vanderbilt, 3. Alabama, 4. Florida, 5. Ole Miss, 6. Georgia, 7. Mississippi State, 8. Lipscomb, 9. Tennessee, 10. Auburn, 11. Southern Miss, 12. North Florida, 13. Belmont, 14. Chattanooga, 15. Georgia Tech, 16. UAB, 17. South Alabama, 18. East Tenn. State, 19. UCF, 20. Georgia State, 21. Middle Tenn. State, 22. South Flordia, 23. Memphis, 24. Mercer, 25. Jacksonville St., 26. Austin Peay, 27. Alabama State
Winner: Mark Parrish, Florida, 29:44.24
MSU: 12. Damian Roszko, 30:26.34; 26. John Valentine, 30:46.89; 62. Juan Sanchez, 31:35.25; 65. Cameron Vernier, 31:37.92; 77. Andrew Monaghan, 31:48.54; 116. Matt Weickert 32:44.37; 145. Patrick Monaghan, 33:55.18
Team Results: 1. Georgia, 2. Florida, 3. Florida State, 4. Auburn, 5. Tennessee, 6. Lipscomb, 7. Mississippi State, 8. Belmont, 9. Ole Miss, 10. Georgia Tech, 11. Chattanooga, 12. Florida A&M, 13. Alabama, 14. North Florida, 15. Memphis, 16. East Tenn. St., 17. Florida Gulf Coast, 18. South Alabama, 19. Miami, 20. Samford, 21. Vanderbilt, 22. Mercer, 23. Austin Peay, 24. Mississippi Valley, 25. Jacksonville St., 26. South Florida