Athletics, Campus wide

Women’s Cross Country matches best finish in program history at Big South championship

By Athletics | November 9, 2023

SALEM, VA. – Charleston Southern Women’s Cross Country finished as Big South Runner-ups for the second consecutive season, tying their finish from last year, the best in school history.  and  were the top finishers for the Buccaneers as they finished in second and third overall to lead the trio of runners to earn First-Team All-Conference.
“I am very proud of the fight the ladies showed today,” said Assistant Coach of Track and Field and Cross Country, Cameron Ruppe. “We are making incredible growth and just barely missed a conference title and have a bright future ahead with this group. Everyone ran well, but  really stepped up in her final Big South XC Championship Meet to put us in a position to be in the mix.”
The race was highly anticipated by all spectators as they knew it would be one that came down to the wire with the championship up for grabs this year. The race started off fast with a lead group of ten runners through the first 2K with it made up of four runners from High Point and three from Charleston Southern. Not far behind, a quartet of Buccaneers were packed together just a few seconds off the lead group. At the next checkpoint of 2.8K, was leading in the team title with 41 points over High Point with 45 and Radford with 53.
At the 4K, the Buccaneers continued to hold on to the team title at this point with 40 points and High Point with 42, while Radford had started to fade as they held 58 points. The lead group had dwindled down to just four runners with Charleston Southern having a pair of runners in it. By the next checkpoint, the Panthers started to slowly make their moves up with a trio of runners moving up by the 4.7K mark and taking the lead in the team title.
At the finish line, High Point’s Brianna Malone broke away in the final stretch to close the day with a 16:45.2 to win the individual title. McCartney hung with Malone the longest of every runner in the field, crossing the line at 16:54.5 to finish second overall. McCartney’s finish marks the first time a female runner has been the meet’s individual runner-up since 1989 when Susan Dixon was. This tied the highest finish as well in program history and is the third time they have had someone place in second.
Augustin was the next overall to cross with a time of 17:05.1, placing in third. Her finish marks the sixth time a runner has been in the top three at the Big South Championships and is the first to finish in third this decade as the last one was Carlajane Constantini in 1999. Akagi had the second-fastest final 300 of all competitors as she passed another runner on her way to the line to finish seventh overall with a 17:19.6 and earn a spot on the All-Conference First-Team along with the top two Buccaneer finishers.
High Point got their next four finishers in at 4, 9, 10 and 11 to close out the team title and extend their consecutive championship streak. However, the margin of victory this time marked the second-smallest margin of victory in their seven-year run.
 was the fourth Buccaneer to earn All-Conference honors as she crossed the line in 14th and had a time of 18:14.1.  rounded out the top five for Charleston Southern as she crossed the line at 18:34.0.  and  finished off the scoring team for with time of 18:36.7 and 18:42.6, close behind Antia in 18th and 20th overall.
The final finishers for the Buccaneers were  who ended the day with an 18:50.7,  at 18:59.7 and who had a 19:12.4. Charleston Southern had all their six runners run personal best times at the meet along with James and Bender each having career-best days.
In total, Charleston Southern had four runners be named All-Conference with three of them as First-Teamers and one as a Second-Teamer. Additionally, White was announced as the honoree to the Big South All-Academic Team for the year. The total of four runners as All-Conference ties their total from 2021
The Buccaneers will return to campus and continue preparations for the NCAA Southeast Regionals which will be hosted by USC Upstate on Friday, November 10. The day will start at 11:00 a.m. with the women’s 6K and the men’s 10K to follow with the gun slated to go off at noon.
Women of Charleston Southern
2.  – 16:54.5 (2) – Personal Best
3.   – 17:05.1 (3) – Personal Best
7.  – 17:19.6 (7) – Personal Best
14.  – 18:14.1 (14) – Personal Best
17.  – 18:34.0 (17) – Personal Best
18.  – 18:36.7 (18) – Personal Best
20.  – 18:42.6 (20) – Season Best
22.  – 18:50.7
26.  – 18:59.7 – Personal Best
33.  – 19:12.4 – Personal Best
Final Team Results
1 – High Point (35)
2 – Charleston Southern (43)
3 – Radford (74)
4 – UNC Asheville (92)
5 – Longwood (173)
6 – Winthrop (188)
7 – USC Upstate (198)
8 – Presbyterian (220)
9 – Gardner-Webb (228)
Individual Champion
Brianna Malone, High Point
Freshman of the Year
Brianna Malone, High Point
Newcomer of the Year
Mackenzie Brownigg, Radford
Coach of the Year
Remy Tamer, High Point
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Natalie Preston, Radford
All-Conference Team (Top 14 Finishers)
Brianna Malone, High Point
, Charleston Southern
, Charleston Southern
Katie Taylor, High Point
Chloe Wellings, Radford
MegAnne Gilmore, Radford
, Charleston Southern
Isabel Richardson, UNC Asheville
Charli Montalvo, High Point
Elizabeth Ritter, High Point
Anna Ritter, High Point
Ella Moore, UNC Asheville
Paris Stankewich, High Point
, Charleston Southern
All-Academic Team
, Charleston Southern
Jessica Perriello, Gardner-Webb
Katie Taylor, High Point
Kiersten Witte, Longwood
Caroline Rairigh, Presbyterian College
Natalie Preston, Radford
Sophie Lundin, UNC Asheville
Heaven Bennett, USC Upstate
Olivia Kemp, Winthrop

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