Tuscaloosa, Ala. — The Georgia State cross country teams concluded the 2011 season by competing at the NCAA South Regional meet in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Saturday morning. The women’s team placed 14th out of 27 teams and the men finished 15th out of 24.

“This was a great end to a great season,” said head coach Chris England. “Both teams ran strong and were excited for the race. The pressure was off because they knew we’ve had a good season regardless of how they finished.

Valentin Poncelet became the 20th runner in program history to earn All-Regional honors by finishing in the top 25. The sophomore placed 24th out of 159 runners in the 10K race. Last season as a freshman at American International College, Poncelet finished 10th at the Division II NCAA Regional.

The women’s team was led by a trio of freshman in Hannah Stefanoff, Sarah McCarthy and Niamh Kearney, who finished 48th, 64th and 93rd, respectively.

“That just goes to show the depth of our team that anyone can step up on race day,” said England. “But I also want to commend all of our seniors. They’ve done an amazing job leading the team and they will leave some big shoes to fill next year.”

This was the final collegiate cross country race for seniors Chris Harper and Kacee Houle. The other seniors on the team are Zanny Anderson, Andrea Rodriguez and Danyel Mitchell.

The team finishes are significant improvements from how the Panthers fared in 2010. The women placed 19th overall and the men only traveled four runners and did not place as a team. Anna Sinclair led the women with a 71st-place finish and Tyler Tomy placed 83rd for the men.

Both teams faced off against some of the top competition in the country. Florida State’s women are ranked No. 1 in the nation and their men’s team is ranked 16th. Vanderbilt’s women’s team is also ranked 4th in the nation.

“On the starting line, our teams were placed right next to the FSU teams,” said England. “We are a competitive team even against some of the best in the country.”

Men’s Individual Results (out of 159 runners)
24. Valentin Poncelet 31:50.7
47. Tyler Tomy 32:59.8
65. Chris Harper  33:18.6
128. Austin Boetje 34:48.8
145. Brandon Black 35:33.1

Men’s Team Results (out of 24 teams)
1. Florida State 40
2. Florida 68
3. Georgia 94
4. Auburn 194
5. Middle Tennessee State 200

15. Georgia State 400

Women’s Individual Results (out of 191 runners)
48. Hannah Stefanoff 22.00.8
64. Sarah McCarthy 22:14.9
93. Niamh Kearney 22:51.4
99. Alison Bishop 23:00.3
113. Kacee Houle 23:12.9
119. Katharine Showalter 23:20.0
128. Anna Sinclair 23:34.5

Women’s Team Results (out of 27 teams)
1. Florida State 34
2. Vanderbilt 54
3. Florida 62
4. Mississippi 185
5. Georgia 208

14. Georgia State 386