Mary Baldwin College Junior Sophia Stone repeated as the NCAA South/Southeast Women’s Cross Country winner Saturday, qualifying her once again for the national championships.
The NCAA final will be held Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana. At last year’s NCAA final, Stone finished 31st out of 277 runners, earning her All-American honors.
“It was tough on the course. It would have been really easy to take it easy, but I picked it up on the third lap. After everything we’ve put in as a team, it wouldn’t be fair not to give everything I had. I’m really glad it’s over. Afterward, I told coach ‘Hallelujah,'” Stone said. “We’ve talked with and met so many teams. That’s the best part. I’m proud of our team.”
Stone, from Pacific Palisades, California, completed the 6K course in 22:03.69, edging out Vanessa Moreno of Trinity University in Texas by nine seconds. Amanda Fadden was the second MBC runner to cross the line (26:51.22) while Wendy Deptula followed close behind (27:05.95). Virginia McGiboney, Amanda Harrison, and Victoria Barrett were the fourth, fifth, and sixth Mary Baldwin runners to complete the course. The Fighting Squirrels finished 20th of the 26 teams competing for the championship.
“It’s been a great day,” said Head Cross Country Coach Sharon Spalding. “All of the runners met their goals. It’s been a great season. The student-athletes have accomplished so much since we started August 18.”