Women’s cross country takes 10th at NCAA South Regional
The JU women’s cross country team finished an already stellar 2008 season on a high note with a 10th place finish at the NCAA South Regional on Saturday morning in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Dolphins finished as the third best university from the state of Florida behind Florida State (1st-41 pts.) and Florida (2nd-64 pts.), who both earned a spots in the NCAA Championships.

JU wrapped the 2008 season not finishing a meet under the top 10 after winning four of its seven meets. The Dolphins placed a program-best second place at the Atlantic Sun Championships (11/1) and fourth overall at the UF Mountain Dew Invitational (9/20) in their only other meets not in first place.

The Dolphins have also were voted as high as second in the A-Sun polls on two occasions this season, which is their best ranking since joining the A-Sun in 1998. JU was voted ninth in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association south region poll this season as well.

“Today was a super conclusion to the best season in JU cross country history,” said JU head coach Ron Grigg. “A top-10 regional finish is a nice reward for the women that ran hard today.

“Under normal conditions the University of Tennessee course is very tough. Add to that cold temperatures, strong winds, soggy conditions from overnight rains and it makes their performances even more impressive. The women ran extremely smart race plans that allowed them to steadily move through the pack. I think the program has turned the corner and is on its way to bigger and better things in the future.”

Sophomore Susanne Klungtveit paced the Dolphins with a time of 22:18.55 for 37th place in her first meet after earning all-conference honors at the A-Sun meet. Junior Elsabeth Goshu took 41st overall with a time of 22.21.65, while junior Alyssa Deal finished 68th (23:07.34).

Junior Ali Ritter ran a time of 23:51.12 for 99th place and sophomore Anastasia Fokia placed 110th (24:04.95) to round out the Dolphin runners.

The Dolphins will now turn their attention to the indoor track and field season as they start the quest for a four consecutive A-Sun title on Jan. 24 in the Tom Jones Classic on the University of Florida campus.