Nov. 9, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Senior Katie Breathitt raced to the best regional finish in school history on Friday at the NCAA South Regional, hosted by Florida State University at Apalachee Regional Park.
Breathitt led the women's team to a fifth-place result. The Lexington, Ky., native raced to a sixth-place finish, earning all-regional honors. She is expected to become the first woman to advance to the NCAA Championships in Ole Miss cross country history. The senior raced to a personal-best 6K time of 20:18.6, shattering her previous best time by 27 seconds.
"We are really excited that Katie is expected to be the first young lady to represent cross country at the NCAA Championships," said first-year head coach Brian O'Neal. "It is an exciting day and exciting time for her. She has had a great season and has led us from the beginning until now."
Sophomore Haley Cutright was the next Rebel to reach the finish line with a time of 20:49.3, placing 27th overall. Junior Kayleigh Skinner followed with a 28th-place finish and a time of 20:50.0. Both women were just shy of receiving all-regional honors.
"The spread on teams two through five was really tight," O'Neal said. "It's unfortunate we ended up on the bottom end of that. More than likely in our region the top three or four teams will advance to the championships. It makes us excited about what the future holds."
Senior Anne Threlkeld and sophomore Margaret Harkness also scored points for the Rebels. Threlkeld raced to a personal-best time of 21:06.0, finishing 41st overall. Harkness also had a personal-best time, completing the course in 21:12.3 and finishing in 45th place.
Senior Kelsey Breathitt, Katie's twin sister, and junior Amy McCrory also competed for the Rebels. Both women finished in the top 65 with personal-best times.
"Our women ran the best race they've run all season long," O'Neal said. "To look up and have four young ladies run under 21 minutes is phenomenal. All of our women ran personal-best times. I'm extremely proud of all our young ladies."
Loren Newsom led the way for the Ole Miss men. The junior finished in 27th place, just two spots shy of earning all-regional honors. Newsom completed the 10K course with a time of 31:30.8.
"What a day for Loren Newsom," O'Neal said. "He was two spots away from all-region. It's the best day he's had in an Ole Miss jersey. You can't help but come away excited for Loren Newsom."
Freshman Seumas O'Reilly and junior Max Holman followed in 67th and 69th place, respectively. Al Lowe and Ian Carter also competed for the Rebels.
"Our two freshmen did really well. Going from 5K races in high school to 10K in college is a tall task. Ian collapsed two different times, once only 200 meters from the finish line. He got up and continued to run. That shows great courage."
6. Katie Breathitt - 20:18.6
27. Haley Cutright - 20:49.3
28. Kayleigh Skinner - 20:50.0
41. Anne Threlkeld - 21:06.0
45. Margaret Harkness - 21:12.3
56. Kelsey Breathitt - 21:24.8
65. Amy McCrory - 21:35.3
27. Loren Newsom - 31:30.8
67. Seumas O'Reilly - 32:32.5
69. Max Holman - 32:35.3
90. Al Lowe - 32:52.3
163. Ian Carter - 35:42.6