Nov. 16, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- After leading the 15th-ranked University of Tennessee women's cross country team to its fourth straight NCAA South Regional championship last Saturday in Gainesville, Fla., junior Felicia Guliford was named the Lady Vol Athlete of the Week Wednesday in a vote by the UT Women's Media Relations staff. Other nominees included soccer's Veronique Maranda and volleyball's Julie Knytych.
A product of Gallup, N.M., Guliford raced to a fifth-place individual finish at the regional meet, charting a time of 20:43.47 that ranked as the fifth-fastest 6,000-meter clocking ever on the University of Florida Golf Course. Guliford, who finished 14th at the regional meet in 2002 and 2004, picked up her third All-South Region certificate with this year's top-five effort.
The third-year performer set the tone as Tennessee put its first four scorers across the finish line before any other team got three in. That tight packing, coupled with Sarah Bowman's 35th-place finish, enabled Team Orange to tally 76 points and finish first in the 24-team field. The Lady Vols out-pointed runner-up Georgia for the second year in a row, as the Lady Bulldogs accumulated 98 points.
By virtue of winning the NCAA South Region, Tennessee earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive season and the ninth time in school history. Guliford and her teammates will put their school-best 122-5 won-lost record on the line on Nov. 21, as they travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for the national meet at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course. Tennessee is hoping to improve on a 21st-place performance a year ago.