MARYVILLE, Tenn.—A string of consistent performances in the top half of the pack placed Agnes Scott Cross Country in the top half of the USA South Championship on Friday morning. The Scotties overcame cold, soggy conditions to run their best overall race of the 2018 season, coming in seventh in the conference for the second consecutive year.
Agnes Scott surely had a chip on its shoulder after getting picked lower in the preseason poll than expected despite returning a majority of its lineup from a season ago. Led by seniors Allyssa Willis (Apache Junction, Ariz.) and Ellie Vergura (Atlanta, Ga.), Agnes Scott finished just a few points out of sixth place Mary Baldwin—who tied with the Scotties in preseason projections.
Willis finished 39th overall for a time of 27:50, while Vergura finished the wet 6k course in 28:25 which was good enough for 45th place. Both times were off of career bests for the senior duo, but still put the Scotties in a good position with three runners left to score.
Kaylah Edwards (Lilburn, Ga.) and first-year Catherine Ortega both shaved major time off career bests in a 6k when the pair finished back to back in 55th and 56th respectively. Edwards was just a few steps ahead at 29:31 with Ortega sprinting in just two seconds later.
Sophomore Hannah Brendell (Windhoek, Namibia) was the final Scottie to score in the morning race, knocking the most time off of a career-high of anyone in the program. Brendell came in 62nd overall with a time of 30:14.7.
Agnes Scott will have two more weeks of training before their 2018 season comes to a close at the NCAA Division III Southeast Regionals at Berry College on November 10.