LEXINGTON, Va.- Freshman Kelsey Stafford became VMI's first-ever All-Conference Women's Cross Country performer and paced the Keydets to a fifth-place finish at the 2005 New Balance Big South Conference Women's Cross-Country Championships, hosted by VMI at the Virginia Horse Center. It marked the highest finish for a VMI women's cross country team since the team began running in the Southern Conference in 1997.
"For the women to finish in fifth place after being voted ninth of nine teams in the preseason poll is an outstanding accomplishment," said VMI head coach Paul Spangler. "Kelsey did a great job to get in the top ten and earn All-Conference honors, and Kathleen Resetar ran a great race to come in third on our team."
Stafford () finished in 10th overall with a time of 19:01 on the 5,000 meter course. The second finisher for VMI was freshman Christina Mowatt-Larssen (), who finished in 36th place overall with a time of 20:28. Turning in perhaps the most impressive performance for the Keydets was Kathleen Resetar (), who was the team's third finisher in 37th place with a time of 20:29. Rounding out the scoring for VMI was freshman Roxanne Franck (), who ran a 20:47 to finish in 43rd place, while Amber Blain () finished in 55th place with a time of 21:49.
Also competing for the Keydets were junior Abby Ward, who finished in 57th overall with a time of 21:54, and Sara Hanson, who finished 71st overall in the 27:32.
The overall champion for the third time in four seasons was senior Anne-Marie Moutsinga of Coastal Carolina, who established a new course record with her time of 17:45. In second place was Liberty sophomore Sarah Roberts (18:03), while freshmen took the next four spots, three of those claimed by Coastal Carolina. Coming in third was Saskia Janssen with a time of 18:15, while High Point's Kali Burt finished fourth in 18:19. Coastal's Felicity Mensing (18:29) and Estelle Oberson (18:32) took fifth and sixth, respectively.
For the fifth straight season, Coastal took the team championship. Their score of 27 bettered Liberty by 20 points, while High Point scored 79 points to finish third. Winthrop came in fourth, while VMI rounded out the top five.
Also honored by the Big South Conference was Kathleen Resetar, who earned All-Academic Team honors.
The meet was hosted by VMI at the Virginia Horse Center. This marked the first time since VMI joined the League three years ago that the Keydets had hosted the meet.
"I thought that the Championships came off great," said Spangler. The venue at the Virginia Horse Center was outstanding. I thought that John Scott and the rest of the Virginia Horse Center staff did an excellent job, and we would like to thank them for allowing us to host the event there."
The women's team will return to action in two weeks, when they compete in Greenville, N.C. at the NCAA Regional Championships on Nov. 15.