KERRVILLE, Texas – The University of Dallas women's cross country team will be competing in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Championship on October 27 at Schreiner University. The Crusaders will be racing in their first 6k of the campaign.
Despite the longer distance, Dallas' women's team is feeling good after winning the last outing at the start of the month at the University of the Ozarks Invitational. Weather cancelled UD's home invite a couple weekends ago, so the team is also anxious to get back on the trails.
Anna Wilgenbusch (St. Paul, Minn.) has earned the top time for the Crusaders in all four races (5ks) this season. The freshman debuted with her quickest time this fall at the 2018 DBU Patriot/Orville Rogers XC Opener (20:15.7), but has earned a pair of top-5 individual finishes in some difficult course-conditions. Wilgenbush also has won SCAC Runner of the Week and USCAA Athlete of the Week.
Classmate Sabrina Lucio (Chino, Calif.) has also produced a strong rookie season, often finishing with the second fastest time (3 races). Her best time this season was also in the season opener (21:52).
Behind these dynamic freshmen tandem is sophomores Clare Hernandez (Dade City, Fla.) and Emma Kate Callahan (Overland Park, Kan.). Hernandez posted a 26:16 in the 2017 SCAC Championship. She has been within the top trio of Dallas times this season, with her best score being a 21:48.8 at the opening-race. Callahan delivered the second-best time for the Crusaders a year ago with a 25:51.0 time at the conference championship.
There is a strong pack behind this top quartet that should compete for the last three countable times for team points. Katie Dieteman (Erie, Pa.), Amy Foote (Saint Paul, Minn.), Elizabeth Regnerus (Round Rock, Texas), and Mary Korth (McKinney, Texas) were all within about 35 seconds in the last race. Dieteman and Foote are in their first cross country seasons, while Regnerus made her collegiate debut in that competition. Foote was part of the UD track and field team last spring. Korth competed in the 2016 SCAC Cross Country Championship.
Mary Rose Corkery (Mansfield, Mass.) is another previous UD cross country runner to have participated in the league championship two seasons ago, but not last season. Other Crusaders with experience from last year's team that ran include: Hannah Guth (Lake Charles, La.), Kimberly Keally (Anderson, Texas), Mackenzie Tano (Wylie, Texas), and Ana Wilhelm (Kiowa, Kan.).
This is the largest roster for 5th-year head coach Matt Barber since the 2014 squad listed 17 runners on it. The group for this weekend has 18 names.
In 2017, the Crusaders finished 6th at the Championship. The previous four seasons, Dallas finished with the third-most points (2016 received 4th in tiebreaker).
Dallas concludes the fall season on November 9 at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Championship with another 6k. It will be held at Virginia Beach, Virginia.