NEWPORT NEWS, Va. --- The news was great on Saturday following the Division III South Region Cross Country Championships on Saturday and got better on Sunday with the Division III Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships Committees' announcement of the national championship fields.
The University of Lynchburg won its first-ever women's region crown and came within one point in the men's ranks of a team sweep following competition at Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News, Va. The Hornets men did not have to wait long to learn they will be joining their women's teammates as team competitors in next weekends national event at Forest Akers East Golf Course on the campus of Michigan State University in Lansing, Mich.
A handful of individuals from ODAC schools also qualified for national competition.
The NCAA championship fields are determined from a slate of qualifiers at the 10 regional events hosted across the country. For each gender, the winning seven-person team from each regional earns automatic entry. An additional 22 teams were selected at-large by the Division III Cross Country Championships Committee. Once the 32 teams for each gender are determined, another 70 individuals earn entry to the field. From each region, the highest-placing seven individuals NOT on one of the 32 qualifying teams also joins the national picture.
RELATED: Official NCAA Release | NCAA Region VI Championship Results
Below is a breakdown of each race and the details surrounding NCAA Championship qualification.
WOMEN'S REGIONAL VI ROUND-UP
Lynchburg flipped the script on Emory University from a season ago to top the 27-team field with 30 points, 18 clear of the Eagles. The Hornets five scoring runners finished ninth or better led by third place finisher Sarah James (22:50.8). Allison Dell (23:14.0), two-time ODAC champion Kelsey Lagunas (23:25.5), and Molly Silva (23:42.3) chimed in fifth, sixth, and seventh. Lauren Massey (23:57.5) capped Lynchburg's scoring five in ninth place, just 0.2 seconds in from of teammate Jackie Wilson (23:57.7) in 10th. Hailey Smith, who earned ODAC Rookie of the Meet laurels at the conference championships, placed 28th (24:46.9).
Four individuals will also be headed to Michigan. Washington and Lee University's Carolyn Todd placed fourth (22:56.3) and was joined by fellow General Kristen Clodgo in 17th place (24:13.8). Bridgewater College's Emily Smeds is off to nationals after placing 14th (24:07.9), and Shenandoah University's Erin Atkinson rounds out the ODAC's championship-qualifying contingent following an 18th-place (24:14.7) showing.
All-Region Honorees (top-35 finish)
- Sarah James, LYN: 3rd - 22:50.8
- Carolyn Todd, W&L: 4th - 22:56.3
- Allison Dell, LYN: 5th - 23:14.0
- Kelsey Lagunas, LYN: 6th - 23:25.5
- Molly Silva, LYN: 7th - 23:42.3
- Lauren Massey, LYN: 9th - 23:57.5
- Jackie Wilson, LYN: 10th - 23:57.7
- Emily Smeds, BC: 14th - 24:07.9
- Kristen Clodgo, W&L: 17th - 24:13.8
- Erin Atkinson, SU: 18th - 24:14.7
- Sophia Breschi, W&L: 20th - 24:15.7
- Elisa Molinaro, W&L: 22nd - 24:22.8
- Mackenzie Young, BC: 25th - 24:33.0
- Claire Hamlet, W&L: 27th - 24:45.5
- Hailey Smith, LYN: 28th - 24:46.9
- Emma Mitchell, W&L: 32nd - 24:56.1
MEN'S REGION VI ROUND-UP
Lynchburg finished second to Emory for a second straight year, but unlike last year's 33-point margin, the Eagles only topped the Hornets by one marker at 46-47. Sam Llaneza and Frank Csorba had a lot to do with that difference with them finishing 1-2 in the individual standings. Llaneza's winning time of 25:09.1 marks the second straight season a Hornet won the regional crown. Csorba, who missed last season's event due to injury, posted a time of 25:16.3.
The Hornets earned an at-large spot from the committee to the championship with their five scoring runners placing first, second, 11th, 13th, and 20th. Tor Hotung-Davidsen finished 11th (26:05.9) with Corbin Green (26:11.4) stopping the watches 13th. Connor McCroy chimed in 20th (26:39.9). Bryce Davis placed 35th (27:20.7) to round out Lynchburg's finishing runners.
Washington and Lee's Charles Scharf is the lone ODAC men's at-large selection. He finished seventh at 25:38.8.
All-Region Honorees (top-35 finish)
- Sam Llaneza, LYN: 1st - 25:09.5
- Frank Csorba, LYN: 2nd - 25:16.3
- Charles Scharf, W&L: 7th - 25:38.8
- Tor Hotung-Davidsen, LYN: 11th - 26:05.9
- Corbin Green, LYN: 13th - 26:11.4
- Chris Ruiz, W&L: 18th - 26:33.8
- Connor McCroy, LYN: 20th - 26:39.9
- Cooper Neeble, RC: 21st - 26:47.3
- Bellamy Immanuel, EMU: 27th - 26:59.2
- Jackson Jacobs, W&L: 30th - 27:07.0
- Colin Verrett, W&L: 33rd - 27:18.6
- Row Sterne, W&L: 34th - 27:19.2
- Bryce Davis, LYN: 35th - 27:20.7