WINCHESTER, Va. - The Shenandoah University cross country teams open NCAA competition Saturday by participating in the NCAA South/Southeast Region Championships hosted by Christopher Newport University.
Competing at Lee Hall Mansion in Newport News, the men get their 8000-meter race started at 11 a.m. with the women competing over 6000-meters at 12:15.
Last season, the women finished a third-best-in-program history 11th thanks to an All-Region performance from Shelby Shrader '17.
This is the first trip for the SU men to the regional championships since hosting the meet in 2015. The Hornet men were 19th that day with Ray Parsons 82nd, Justin Mehrer 108th, Zachary Barton 116th and Winston Davis 152nd.
Smith was 12th and Mehrer 14th to earn All-ODAC honors for the first team each.
The fifth place showing was the best-ever for the SU men with the women's showing its second consecutive top five performance.
Head coach Andy Marrocco has high hopes for his two teams coming into the championships.
"We competed so well at the ODAC Championships and I think we have the talent to do the same at the regionals," Marrocco said. "We just need to follow our race plans and be ready to be successful."
The top two teams for both the men and women, along with the top seven individuals not on those two teams, will earn spots in the NCAA Championships. The national meet will take place on November 18 in Elsah, Illinois.