Cross Country Teams Set to Compete at NCAA D-II South Regionals
NEW MARKET, Alabama – The Florida Southern Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Teams will return to action here Saturday as they compete in the 2012 NCAA Division II South Regional Cross Country Championships held at Sharon Johnston Park.
The top three teams and top three individuals at each of the eight regional meets will automatically qualify for the 2012 NCAA D-II National Championships. In addition, individuals who finish in the Top 5 and are not part of the qualifying teams will also earn a spot in the National Championship Meet, which is scheduled for Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo.
On the men’s side, the Moccasins come into the South Region Championships fresh off a second place finish for the second consecutive season at the 2012 Sunshine State Conference Championships. At the SSC Championships, the Mocs place four runners in the Top 10 and scored 47 points to finish six points behind SSC Champion, Nova Southeastern.
The Mocs are paced this season by juniors David Tomchinsky (Englewood, Fla.) and Chris Yanichko (Grove City, Ohio), who each earned All-SSC honors this year. Those two runners finished third and sixth respectively at the SSC Championships as Tomchinsky ran the 8K course at UCF in a season-best time of 26:13.80 and Yanichko ran an 8K time of 26:23.00.
Both Tomchinsky and Yanichko have run the past two seasons in the South Regional Championships as at last season’s meet in Brandon, Fla., Tomchinsky finished in 10th place with a 10K time of 32:51 and Yanichko finished in 11th place after running a 10K time of 32:58.
The Mocs won their only South Regional Championship in 2007.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, the Mocs enter the regional meet fresh off a fifth place finish overall at this year’s SSC Championships with 118 points. At the meet, senior Emily LaBarbera (Cape Coral, Fla.) led the way for the Mocs as she ran the 6K course at UCF in a time of 23:37.90 to finish in 11th place overall. At the SSC Championships, all eight of the Mocs ran season-best 6K times.
Last season, the Mocs finished 11th at the 2011 South Regional Championships. The top finisher for the Mocs was sophomore Jessica Krystek (Ringoes, N.J.) as she ran the 8K course in Brandon, Fla., in a time of 23:54. Four members of this year’s team competed at last season’s regional meet.