TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Georgia State cross country teams concluded the 2012 season at the NCAA South Region meet where the women finished 11th and the men 17th Friday morning.

The 2012 Sun Belt Runner of the Year, Katharine Showalter led GSU with a 12th place finish that earned the senior an All-Region distinction, given to the top-25 finishers at the race. GSU has now had 21 runners earn All-Region honors in program history.

With her finish, Showalter could potentially earn an individual bid to the NCAA National meet on Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky. The team at-large bids will be determined Saturday morning, which will help decide whether or not the Showalter becomes the ninth Panther to earn a trip the national meet.

The last time a GSU runner qualified for the NCAA Championship came back in 2009 when Janel Blancett placed 9th overall at the Region meet. Blancett went on to finish 47th at the national meet.

Behind Showalter, Hannah Stefanoff placed 50th and Jennifer Rubel came in 72nd place for the GSU women. Valentin Poncelet and Austin Boetje placed 59th and 61st respectively to lead the men’s team.

The women’s team scored 351 points to place 11th out of 29 teams. With a score of 443, the men’s team finished 17th out of 26 teams. Both squads placed four runners in the top-100 competitors.

The women’s 11th-place finish ties for the third-best NCAA Region meet effort in program history and the best since 2007, when the team placed 6th in the Region. The men’s best overall finish came in 2008 when they came in 8th place.

Coming into the meet, Georgia State’s women were ranked No. 8 in the South Region, according to the most recent USTFCCCA weekly poll.

Several Panthers registered personal best times at the race amongst top competition. Alison Bishop, Niamh Kearney, Rubel, Showalter and Stefanoff all ran the fastest 6K races of their college careers, while Boejte and Tyler Tomy notched their quickest personal 10Ks.

Last season, the women placed 14th out of 27 teams and the men came in 15th of 24 teams at the Region meet, held in Tuscaloosa, Ala. At the meet, Poncelet led the men with a 24th place finish for All-Region honors, while Stefanoff paced the women with a 48th place finish.

The 2012 meet was hosted by Florida State at Apalachee Regional Park. The host Seminoles took first place on both the men’s and women’s sides.

The meet concludes the 2012 cross country season for the Georgia State teams, but the Panther runners don’t have too long to wait before the beginning of track and field season. GSU’s first indoor track meet is the Orange and Purple Winter Classic on Dec. 1 in Clemson, S.C.

Women’s Individual Results (Out of 205 Competitors)
12. Katharine Showalter, 20:28.6
50. Hannah Stefanoff, 21:18.3
72. Jennifer Rubel, 21:44.6
94. Niamh Kearney, 21:59.8
138. Alison Bishop, 22:57.1
144. Anna Sinclair, 23:03.7
205. Katie Papesh, 27:24.5

Women’s Team Results (Out of 29 Teams)
1. Florida State, 24
2. Vanderbilt, 112
3. Georgia, 115
4. Florida, 122
5. Mississippi, 147
6. Alabama, 248
7. Lipscomb, 271
8. Samford, 327
9. Mississippi State, 328
10. Tennessee, 333
11. Georgia State, 351

Men’s Individual Results (Out of 177 Competitors)
59. Valentin Poncelet, 32:16.6
61. Austin Boetje, 32:18.0
81. Tyler Tomy, 32:45.7
95. Carlos Galindo, 33:05.1
165. Justin Philip , 35:54.0
173. Trevor Turner, 36:51.9

Men’s Team Results (Out of 26 Teams)
1. Florida State, 27
2. Georgia, 48
3. Florida, 67
4. Georgia Tech, 212
5. Mississippi State, 216

17. Georgia State, 443

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