NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Ole Miss women's cross country team raced to their best finish in school history Friday morning, earning fourth place at the 2012 Southeastern Conference Championships.
Katie Breathitt led the women's team with a ninth-place finish, which marks the best individual finish in Ole Miss women's cross country history. The senior claimed All-SEC second team honors for her performance, becoming the second woman in program history to receive that distinction. The Lexington, Ky., native completed the 6K course with a personal-best time of 20:45.16.
"We are tremendously excited and proud of our women," said first-year head coach Brian O'Neal. "They went out and competed exactly how we've talked about all season long. We told them to put their heart on the line and realize they're not just competing for themselves or their team, but this university."
Fellow senior Anne Threlkeld raced to a personal-best 16th-place finish, just two spots shy of earning All-SEC honors. Junior Kayleigh Skinner followed in 21st place with a time of 21:19.39. Sophomore Haley Cutright was the next Rebel to reach the finish line, placing 33rd overall with a time of 21:34.35. Senior Kelsey Breathitt, Katie's twin sister, finished in 44th place. She finished the course with a time of 21:44.42.
"Hats off to Katie for earning All-SEC honors," O'Neal said. "Anne and Kayleigh were just off of the All-SEC mark. I'm tremendously proud of how well we ran."
Junior Amy McCrory and sophomore Margaret Harkness also competed for the Rebels. Every member of the women's team finished with a personal-best time and came in the top 70 at the meet.
"We again showed we are going to be a team that will be able to compete in this league," O'Neal said. "Finishing in the top four is something they can all be proud of. All of them set personal-best times and ran faster than they did on the same course a month ago. It is a great testament to the work ethic and belief of the model, and I can't say enough about how I'm proud of them."
Junior Max Holman was the first of the Ole Miss men to reach the finish line, helping the team to a 10th-place result. He completed the 8K course with a time of 25:14.31, placing 44th. Sophomore Loren Newsom followed in 55th place and a time of 25:29.41.
"We're extremely thin in terms of depth on the men's side and we knew that coming in," O'Neal said. "They competed hard and gave us absolutely everything they had. We just didn't have the number to have the same results that the ladies did. I'm extremely proud of how hard they competed and raced. Results aren't indicative of the day they had."
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