The Barton Community College women's cross country team placed second Saturday at the Region VI Championships held on the campus of Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. Featuring five teams either in the nation's top twenty or receiving votes, the No. 11 ranked Lady Cougars with three among the top eleven had the best combined 5k time amongst the teams' top five runners but finished thirteen places behind Region Champion and No. 9 ranked Butler Community College.
After finishing 8th in the region last season the runner-up finish also marked the highest for Barton since the 2003 season when the Lady Cougars finished fifth in the nation. The second place finish in the West division of the Jayhawk Conference to Butler also matches the feat of the 2003 squad.
Lydia Mato defended her Region Champion as the sophomore from Ghana easily captured the race averaging 6:01 per mile finishing in 18:40.3 and thirty seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.
Sophomore Holly Pierce was the second Lady Cougar to cross the line as the Texan conquered the rolling hills course jumping forty-eight spots from last year placing eighth in a time of 20.10.1 at a 6:30 per mile clip.
Asha Douglas just missed a top ten placing but did earn All-Region honors as the freshman's 6.31 pace came in at an 11th place time of 20:12.3.
Barton will have two weeks to prepare before the NJCAA Division I Championship to be held Saturday, November 14, in Ford Dodge, Iowa. Mato, who won the 2014 Cross Country Championship last season recording the third fastest 5k time in NJCAA championship history, will be seeking her unprecedented thirteenth individual national title.