TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After a morning of dazzling performances at the NCAA South Region Championship that saw several runners etch their name on the Dolphins' 6K All-Time List, Jacksonville University women's cross country surged three spots in the final 400 meters of the race to place 11th as a team, Friday morning at Harry Pritchett Running Park.
"I am so incredibly proud of this group. Having their best races on the biggest day is a sign of grit. Being the top ASUN Conference team provides some redemption. Far outperforming our regional ranking is a bonus," stated Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Ron Grigg.
Junior Nora McUmber led the Dolphins in 21:09.1 with a new 6,000-meter personal best, 18 seconds quicker than her previous PR ran at last year's South Regional. McUmber remains third on JU's All-Time 6K List.
"Nora McUmber is rounding back into form and this will be a good springboard for her future performances," added Grigg.
Howell and Reinert jumped into the Dolphins' record books as they finished in 21:25.4 and 21:26.5, respectively. Marino follow in 21:27.9 and the trio now rank 4-5-6 on JU's All-Time 6k List.
"Michelle's endurance qualities are growing every race. Caitlin is our steady ship. From walk-on to all-conference, her story is a total inspiration. Jana Reinert ran the 6K distance courageously for an 800/400 runner," credited Grigg.
Freshman Nicolette Worrell also found herself rewriting Dolphin history as she finished the 6K in 22:43.6, good to step into 18th all-time at JU.
Added Grigg, "Nicolette ran so intelligently and her second half of the race was key for our overall score."
Senior Kyla Siemens rounded out the Dolphin contingent in 24:03.1, and currently ranks 15th on JU's All-Time 6K List (22:36).
"Kyla is such a positive influence on our program," said Grigg. "I know she isn't running as well as she'd like, but her past accomplishments speak for themselves."
After finishing third at the ASUN Championships two weeks ago, the Dolphins finished ahead of both North Florida and Lipscomb, who placed 1-2 at the league championships.
In the words of Ice Cube, "today was a good day."