Saint Leo University’s (SLU) Tereza Novotna set the lofty goal of making the NCAA Division II national cross country meet during her first year in college, and she did just that with her performance Nov. 5.
Novotna, a native of Opocno, Czech Republic, finished as the South Regional runner-up by completing the 6-kilometer course at Dover Park in a time of 22:11. She edged out University of Tampa runner Jess Butler by less than a second.
“I know I wanted to stay in the lead group if I wanted a chance at nationals,” Novotna said. “The thought of crossing the tape got me through this race.”
Novotna becomes the first Lions runner in program history to earn a spot at nationals. The second-place performance is the best finish of any SLU runner at regionals ever and also the fourth top-five showing of her freshman season.
Novotna will travel to Spokane, Wash. to compete at nationals on Saturday, Nov. 19.
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