LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UNCG junior Ashley Schnell came in 14th place in the women's 6k race to earn All-Region honors on Saturday at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.
The men's team came home with a school-best 16th place finish, while the women's team finished in a tie for 16th place with George Mason.
"I could not be more proud of this team, said coach Linh Nguyen. The women had a great season and have set us up for a very bright future. This is the best women's team in UNCG history. The men also had a great year and I'm very happy with all the positive steps forward that we've made. This team has committed themselves from day 1 and its paid off. We are set up to be a very good team over the next few years."
Schnell completed the 6k course in a time of 20:48.65, which shattered the previous school record by over a minute. Her finish made her the first All-Region honoree in school history. Shaina Sumney also had a great race as she finished in 42nd place in a time of 21:31.99, which would have also broken the previous school record.
"The goal for the women was to be top 15 and we finished in a cluster of teams from 13th to 16th," said Nguyen. "We didn't have a complete team race and that was the difference today. Our region is so strong that you have to be on top of your game from 1-7. However, we were the top SoCon team and beat other North Carolina schools that have generally beaten us in the past."
"Ashley ran a great race today. She got out in the top 20 like I told her to and raced from there. To be 14th in this region is a great achievement. The bittersweet part is she just missed the last individual spot to make nationals. Shaina also ran great. She's had an amazing season and this was a nice way to end it."
The men's team were led by Mike Koech who finished in 28th place, just three spots out of earning All-Region honors. His time of 31:20.07 broke his own school record he set last season by 19 seconds. Joey Thompson was second-best for the Spartan men on Saturday as he ran a 32:50.53 to finish in 84th place.
"Today's performance was a little disappointing for the men," said Nguyen. "We felt coming in that we were a top 12 team. However, this is one of the strongest years I've seen in the Southeast Region and this is probably the toughest region in the country. If you are just a little off at this meet, you can lose a lot of places. The guys ran tough and moved up over the last 2k. To have our best finish ever on an off day just shows how good this team really is this year."
"Mike ran an extremely smart race and was just out kicked for the last All-Region spot. He broke the school record and was running with the very best in the Region."
The Spartans will now prepare for the upcoming indoor track & field season.
28. Mike Koech, 31:20.07; 84. Joey Thompson, 32:50.53; 120. Andy Clyne, 33:28.83; 131. AJ Savoia, 33:40.10; 134. Kenny Hinman, 33:43.20; 150. Jermaine Coore, 34:03.36; 187. Brian Carrington, 35:04.74
1. William & Mary, 85 points
2. Duke, 116
3. NC State, 131
4. Richmond, 158
5. Louisville, 176
16. UNCG, 493
14. Ashley Schnell, 20:48.65; 42. Shaina Sumney, 21:31.99; 112. Kerry Hartman, 22:38.77; 115. Ginny Cronley, 22:41.22; 199. Tiffany Garber, 23:56.68; 208. Kelly Montague, 24:07.70; 217. Anna Grimes, 24:22.13
1. Virginia, 65 points
2. North Carolina, 100
3. Duke, 122
4. NC State, 153
5. Virginia Tech, 208
t-16. UNCG, 479
- UNCG -