After a victorious season, the Southern Miss cross-country team finished in historical fashion. The Golden Eagles placed eleventh out of the thirty teams on the 6K course in Tallahassee. Their finish tied the school record for best performance at a regional meet, and they also broke the school record for fewest points at a regional meet.
Dana Dillistone finished her career by leading the team with a time of 21:15, finishing 39th overall.
“Dana had the race we’ve been waiting for all year,” said head coach Aaron Kindt. “She has been our number one all year, a role she hadn’t really been in her first three years here. She ran a tremendous race, and I am really happy that she could finish her cross country career with her best yet.”
Freshman Theresa Harto had a time of 21:51, Monika Gerarzewska, 21:57, Daphney Stanford, 22:04 and freshman Regen McGee, 22:13. Each kept a tight pack that was separated between 22 seconds. Senior Courtney Filliben finished with a time of 23:23 and sophomore Victoria Hoppe with 24:02. The two closed out the race in the final two spots of the team.
“Theresa, Monika and Regen have been huge for us this year,” Kindt said. “These three are the future of this program and a future that is very bright. You will hear a lot from [them in] the next 4 years.”
The team shows much promise in future seasons despite losing seniors Dillistone, Stanford and Filliben. A combination of young talent and several returning members are poised to build off of the success of this team. If the team has another strong recruiting class, and if other members continue to train hard, a conference championship is in the cards for the team in the near future.
“This is a great way to finish the year,” Kindt said. “It will go down as the best team in school history. I am really excited to get this group on the track this spring.”
Next on the agenda is for the team to recover and prepare for track season in the spring. After a successful cross- country season, the Golden Eagles show a promising performance for track season.