NEW ORLEANS – Conference Carolinas cross country was featured heavily among the 2019 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II All-Region honorees.
The honorees picked up the prestigious distinction by virtue of a top-25 finish at the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional. Only athletes from USTFCCCA member programs are eligible for this honor.
Mount Olive men’s cross country has five All-Region selections in Daniel Francken, Jacob Gonzalez, Branson Oduor, Tai Smith and Jacob Willis. All finished in the top 20 at the Southeast Regional.
Jacob Gonzalez led the way at the regional with an 11th-place finish (31:49.4). The 2019 Conference Carolinas Runner of the Year, Tai Smith (31:56.5) finished 13th, while Jacob Willis was 15th (32:07.2) and Branson Oduor was 17th (32:12.6). Daniel Francken (32:16.4) finished 19th.
In the women’s 6K, Mount Olive’s Leah Hanle picked up her historic fourth consecutive individual region championship to earn all-region accolades with a time of 20:53.0. Hanle is the first ever to win the individual region title for four straight years. King's Kirstin Barton finished 18th at the regional with a time of 23:00.7 to earn all-region honors for the second straight year.
The nationally-ranked Mount Olive men will next compete in the 2019 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships that will be held Nov. 23, 2019 at the Arcade Creek Cross Country Course at Haggin Oaks in Sacramento, Calif.
To see the full listing of all-region honorees, please visit HERE.