Regan Rome is fast.
The William and Mary junior captured the individual victory at the Virginia Panorama Farms Invitational in thrilling fashion Friday morning, sprinting past Coastal Carolina’s Annie Bothma in the final straightaway to win in a blazing 17:01.
Rome and the others contending for the individual title didn’t hold back early in the women’s 5,000-meter race. They charged through the mile in a quick 5:20 to separate from the field and would remain together for the next mile, waiting to see who first would make a move to break away. It would be Clemson’s Grace Barnett who would make that move, gapping the field with a big surge up the hill just past two miles.
It was a really stacked race,” Rome said post-race to Flotrack. “There were a lot of moves being made and there was never a time I was comfortably in front. I wasn’t in first until the very end … I just kicked the last 400 and was able to secure the win, which I’m really happy about.”
Rome and Bothma reeled in Barnett with less than a kilometer to go and ratcheted up the pace to drop her. The two competitors battled back and forth and entered the final straightaway together. Bothma assumed the lead down the long finishing stretch, while Rome elected to settle in right behind her. As they flew past the three-mile marker, the All-American moved to Bothma’s left and blew her doors off the last 200 meters to win the title. Bothma would finish runner-up with 17:04 and Southern Methodist’s Hannah Miller would finish third in 17:10.
“It was a really stacked race,” Rome said post-race to Flotrack. “There were a lot of moves being made and there was never a time I was comfortably in front. I wasn’t in first until the very end … I just kicked the last 400 and was able to secure the win, which I’m really happy about.”
The Tribe men and women both recorded strong finishes in the team races. The women finished fifth out of 13 teams with a score of 155 points. No. 19 Brigham Young won the title with a score of 47 points, while SMU (89), No. 16 Syracuse (98) and No. 14 Virginia (127) finished second, third and fourth, respectively.
Junior Molly Breidenbaugh was the second Tribe runner across the finish line, running 17:56 for 26th place. Junior Audrey Gordon (18:19), junior transfer Molly McKenna (18:28) and redshirt junior Molly Applegate (18:35) finished in respective 39th, 45th, and 51st to round out the scoring for the College. Sophomore Deirdre Casey (18:37) and true freshman Charlotte Kowalk (18:43) finished as the sixth and seventh Tribe runners, placing 52nd and 59th.
The men finished sixth out of 14 teams in a stacked field with 156 points. No. 12 BYU upset the defending national champions and No. 1 Syracuse, scoring 39 points to edge the Orangemen by five. No. 11 Virginia placed third with 82 points while Campbell (125) took fourth and No. 4 Stanford (139) finished fifth.
I thought the guys ran a great team race,” head men’s cross country coach Chris Solinsky said to Tribe Athletics. “We were in the mix with some of the best teams in the country and held our own.
Redshirt-junior David Barney led the Tribe with a 21st-place finish, covering the 8,000-meter race course in 24:31. Seniors Trevor Sleight (25:06) and Faris Sakallah (25:09) finished 34th and 36th as sophomore Ryan McGorty (25:24.2) and senior Cavender Salvadori (25:24.9) placed 40th and 41st to round out the scoring for the College. True freshman JP Trojan posted an excellent performance, running 25:36 to place 47th, and junior Chris Hoyle (25:37) finished right behind him in 48th to complete the varsity line-up. Syracuse’s Justyn Knight torched the field over the last two kilometers to win in 23:13 and break the previous course record of 23:15.
“I thought the guys ran a great team race,” head men’s cross country coach Chris Solinsky said to Tribe Athletics. “We were in the mix with some of the best teams in the country and held our own. This is a step in the right direction … We had a few spots where we can improve, but we see that as a good thing given where we are in the season and how well the team ran as a whole.”
The Tribe continues its season at the Penn State Open, held October 14 in State College, Pa.