Jaguar women finish fifth in Peach Belt; Weathers, Knudsen earn all-conference honors

AU’s McKenzie Knudson (3) en route to an all-conference finish with a time of 18:57.5 in the Peach Belt Championship at Beech Island, S.C. (photo by Chase Slone)

By Brandon Johnson |

The Jaguar women’s cross country team took fifth place in the Peach Belt Championship at Beech Island, S.C., on Saturday, Nov. 3, and the Jaguars’ Micah Weathers earned a top-five finish in the individual race.

Flagler, led by Heloise Duffie de Tassigny, captured the team title with four runners in the top 11. North Georgia was second, Columbus State third and Georgia College fourth in the race at Redcliffe Plantation.

Weathers, a sophomore from Statham, finished with a time of 18 minutes, 41.8 seconds, good for fifth place overall. Junior McKenzie Knudsen of Loganville took home eighth place in 18:57.5. Sophomore Miranda Taylor crossed the line in 19:30.1 to take 22nd.

Weathers, who stayed with Duffie de Tassigny for most of the race, said she battled the cool conditions to secure a slot on the all-conference team along with teammate Knudsen. Although Weathers placed fifth, she was not satisfied with her performance.

Micah Weathers takes fifth in PBC meet. (photo by Ben Marshall)

“I’m not proud of my sprint,” she said afterwards. “I don’t think the sprint was really good, and I’ve just been struggling with sickness and foot pain.”

AU Coach Adam Ward praised the team’s performance amidst all of their adversities.

“I thought the women ran well,” Ward said. “We’ve been a little banged up and a few people missing here and there, but I was pleased with how they did.”

AU Dental College student Lara Way was 24th in 19:34.8, and junior Sinead O’Bryant finished in 43rd place.

Following Duffie de Tassigny of Flagler in second place was Alli Hay of Columbus State. She ran a 18:32.9 for the five-kilometer race. In third place was Lauren Penkala of Flagler, fourth went to Aleah Johnson of North Georgia and then AU’s Weathers was in fifth. The next five included Breanna Hammond of North Georgia, Macy Voorhies of Columbus State, Knudsen of AU, Skylar Moreno of UNC Pembroke and Stephany Sislava of Flagler. The Florida college had 46 points and second-place North Georgia had 60. Voorhies of Columbus State was named freshman of the year.

AU’s Miranda Taylor finished 22nd overall with a time of 19:30.1. (photo by Ben Marshall)

Duffie de Tassigny’s time was 18:18.4, 14.5 seconds ahead of runner-up Hay. Duffie de Tassigny, who is French, is a junior business administration major at Flagler. After a slow start, she eventually broke away from the pack on the bright, crisp morning in Aiken County.

Augusta’s women’s XC team has had a very solid 2018 campaign. AU is seeded 10th in the NCAA Southeast Region. The Jags have placed seventh or better in every race this season, including a third-place showing at the Jaguar XC Invitational for their best result thus far.

Flagler’s Brian Beil was awarded coach of the year at the conference event.

The Jaguars next compete in the Southeast Regional at North Georgia on Nov. 17.


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