SU roundup: Taylor shooting for All-America status in cross country

Daily Staff Report – sports@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER — Senior Ryan Taylor seeks to become Shenandoah University’s first cross country All-America honoree Saturday with his participation in the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championships.

Taylor qualified for the championships with a time of 25 minutes, 10 seconds and tied for the fifth-place finish this past Saturday at the NCAA South/Southeast Regionals at Lee Hall Mansion outside of Newport News.

The time bested Taylor’s previous 8K personal best by 23 seconds and is the fastest time in program history.

The place earned him all-region honors to go along with first team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference accolades he earned last month at the conference championships.

Taylor now owns the top five times in school history and six of the top 10.

Josiah Renton (’12), the holder of the remaining four times in the top 10, is the only other runner in school history to qualify for the national championships. He participated in the 2010 championships hosted by Wartburg College in Wartburg, Iowa.

The 2013 championships are being hosted by Hanover College in Hanover, Ind., with 32 teams and 56 individuals invited to the championship.

Taylor qualified for the national championships as one of the top seven finishers in the South/Southeast Regional.

Should he finish as one of the top 35 finishers in the 8,000-meter race, Taylor will earn All-America status.

“Ryan has a great race plan,” Shenandoah cross country coach Andy Marrocco stated in a news release. “Last week, he executed his race plan perfectly and it led to his strong finish.

“The race is going to be much different this week because it is such a larger field size, but we have thought it through and I think we have a plan that could lead to an excellent place. Ryan told me at the beginning of the year that he wanted to finish in the top 15 nationally, and he is now capable of realizing that goal. He is more than ready physically and now it is just a mental exercise to follow through on his plan.”

The men’s race is scheduled for a 12:30 p.m. ET start and live video is available thru ncaa.com.

Women’s soccer

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The 2012-13 Shenandoah women’s soccer team has been recognized by the NSCAA for academic achievement in awards announced Thursday morning by the organization.

The 2012-2013 Hornets, under the direction of head coach Liz Pike, earned NSCAA Academic Team honors for having at least a 3.0 GPA during the 2012-13 academic year.

The SU women were one of 593 college women’s soccer teams honored for their academic achievement.

Shenandoah had a 3.35 cumulative GPA on its 27-woman squad.