Two 10th place finishes bring mixed emotions at Regionals

Two 10th place finishes bring mixed emotions at Regionals

Who knew the phrase "10th place" could bring both joy and sadness on the same day. The Lady Slugs finished a disappointing 10th as a team at the NCAA DIII West Region Championships held in Chino, CA on November 11th, while Junior Tamara Torlakson finished 10th overall in the race, qualifying as an individual for the NCAA DIII National Championships.

The Slugs went into Regionals with great expectations. It had already been the best year in the short history of the program, with the team beating several West Region schools over the course of the season. They looked ready to move up into the top third of the region, as had been the team's goal all year. Unfortunately it wasn't the Slugs day as most of the team ran off of their usual pace. Senior Olivia Vegh was 50th overall in 24:51, with Sophomore Miriam Hartig close behind in 59th. Top freshman Ashley Stalzer ran 25:40 over the 6K course, finishing 73rd. Devon Orme (SO) and Angie Laurence (FR) finished just six seconds apart in 77 and 78th. Junior Katy Haynes ran tough after a fall at the start and wound up in 89th overall.

Continuing her history making season, Torlakson ran her race plan perfectly, running in the top 15 most of the race and moving into 10th over the last 1000 meters to grab the final qualifying spot for Nationals from the West with a personal best and school record 23:14. The West proved to be the toughest region in the country to get an individual qualifier; only three runners in the top 10 were on teams that qualified. This will be UC Santa Cruz's first ever appearance at the National Meet, which will be in West Chester Ohio on the 18th.