West Virginia Wesleyan senior Sydney Pineault (pictured) made history Saturday morning at the NCAA DII Cross Country Atlantic Regionals here at Lock Haven, Pa.
Pineault raced to a second place finish in the 6000-meter race, punching her ticket to the national championship meet in Evansville, Indiana in two weeks.
She covered the distance in a time of 21:17, and her finish was the highest ever for an MEC individual, male or female.
“Syd ran a very smart race and made some critical moves during the race at the right time,” head coach Jesse Skiles said. “She showed a lot of guts in holding off some hard charging athletes in the final 1000 meters. I am very proud of her and this accomplishment.”
Pineault was complemented by Joie Johnston (38th, 22:37), Lexi Beach(56th, 23:05), Madison Frame (68th, 23:18), Rachael Englund (82nd (23:39), Michaela Peterson (92nd, 23:53), and Zoey Vilasuso (126th, 25:21).
Wesleyan’s women placed ninth as a team against 21 other teams. They compiled 243 points.
Edinboro won the team title with 67 points while Shippensburg was second with 95.
Julie Friend of California (Pa.) won the women’s race with a time of 5:31.7.
Wesleyan’s men placed 11th overall.
Senior Matt Dearth led the way, placing 11th, covering the 10,000 meter course in 31:46. It was his second All-Region performance and he will find out Monday evening if he will get one of the NCAA’s individual at-large berths.
“Matt is a hard racer and mixed it up with some great runners today,” Skiles said. “It was a great effort from our captain.”
Robert Moser from Shippensburg won the individual crown with a time of 30.51.4
Shippensburg won the team title with 35 points while Edinboro was second with 66 points.
“I am very proud of our entire team,” Skiles said. “They banded together, and made this a very satisfying and memorable year. This was a very good day for our league as a whole…we are getting more and more all-region performers each season.”