|Seahawk Harriers Set Sights On Regional|
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW cross country teams wrap up the 2013 season with a visit to Earlysville, Va., on Friday, Nov. 15, to compete in the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional.
The University of Virginia will host the championship, which includes a men’s 10K at Noon, followed by the women’s 6K at 1:15 p.m. on the Panorama Farms cross country course.
“The course will be tough because it’s a hilly farm with a lot of thick grass, rolling hills, and one substantial hill,” said assistant track and field coach Layne Schwier. “But we have raced hilly courses the whole season, so our runners shouldn’t be intimidated.”
UNCW faces the largest field of the year, with 44 schools participating. “Typically 30-35 schools will compete who have enough runners to score as a team. Some schools bring individuals, but not enough to score as a team,” noted Schwier. “With so many runners, anything can happen.
“The women will get another shot at beating the College of Charleston after a couple of close calls. The men also have a chance to catch up with USC Upstate and VMI. Of course, you always want to be competitive with the other in-state schools, so we’re looking to top Campbell and ECU as well.”
Last year’s regional meet took place in Charlotte, N.C., where George Mason’s men and William & Mary’s women took the top spots. UNCW’s men wound up 30th, with the women finishing 28th.
Senior Ashley Wybersky returns to the field after an uncharacteristic performance in the CAA championship meet. She is trying to bounce back from a few late-season injuries.
“Ashley has consistently been our top runner for the past two years, but has had a rough second half this season,” Schwier said. “She is very familiar with the course, having run it often in high school. She loved the course back then, so we hope she will carry that confidence back up to the front of the team for her last collegiate race.”
Wybersky, from Manassas, Va., finished 106th and paced the Seahawks in last year’s regional, and has led the women in four out of six races this season. Fellow senior Haley Kapheim was UNCW’s top finisher at the CAA championships.
“This is also Haley’s final race. She has taken the top spot for us twice, so we expect to see a strong performance from her and Ashley.”
On the men’s side, junior Casey Buddenbaum and senior captain Dylan Skinner paced the team in the conference meet. Senior captain John Riemer has led the men in five of six races this year.
“John put himself under a lot of pressure in the CAA meet,” said Schwier “We expect him to be at full strength this time. We’re opting to let him run his own race at the regional .” At last year’s regional meet, Riemer came in 134th.
Schwier said: “Such a big race is unpredictable. With so many runners it is hard to guess what will happen. We would simply like to finish with a good effort and come home knowing we ran as well as we could. We need to know that we did the best we were capable of that day and see our seniors finish strong.”
Men’s 10K entries: UNCW, Appalachian State, Campbell, Charlotte, Citadel, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, Davidson, Duke, Eastern Kentucky, Elon, Furman, Gardner-Webb, George Mason, High Point, Kentucky, Liberty, Longwood, Louisville, Morehead State, Murray State, N.C. A&T, North Carolina, NC State, Presbyterian, Radford, Richmond, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Greensboro, USC Upstate, VMI, VCU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Western Carolina, Western Kentucky, William & Mary, and Winthrop.
Women’s 6K entries: UNCW, Appalachian State, Campbell, Charlotte, Citadel, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, Davidson, Duke, East Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Elon, Furman, Garnder-Webb, George Mason, High Point, James Madison, Kentucky, Liberty, Longwood, Louisville, Morehead State, Murray State, N.C. A&T, North Carolina, NC State, Presbyterian, Radford, Richmond, South Carolina, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Greensboro, USC Upstate, VCU, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Western Carolina, Western Kentucky, William & Mary, Winthrop, and Wofford.