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Catie Byrd again named D-II Southeast runner of the year

Catie Byrd runs to a third place finish in the Southeast regionals of the NCAA Division II on Saturday. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO] Catie Byrd runs to a third place finish in the Southeast regionals of the NCAA Division II on Saturday. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

Catie Byrd, a North Henderson High School graduate and senior at Queens University in Charlotte, was named the regional runner of the year for a second straight year after finishing third in the Southeast NCAA Division II cross country championship in Wingate on Saturday.

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Byrd finished in a time of 22:25.3, a personal best for a 6k race, to lead the Queens Royals to a spot in the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships in Joplin, Mo., on Nov. 21. This time she ran in two shoes.
A year ago Byrd came in 32rd in the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship despite losing her shoe in the first 200 yards of the race, posting the best finish ever for a Queens runner and earning All-America honors. She has a chance to top that record when she competes in the nationals for a second straight year in two weeks in Missouri.
Byrd has improved her time every year by a significant margin. On Saturday beat her 2014 regional championship time of 21:56.98 by 28 seconds.
On Oct. 14 Byrd was named the AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Women's Cross Country Runner of the Week after finishing fourth in a field of 324 athletes from all divisions of the NCAA at the Royals Challenge in Charlotte in 17:46.0, a time that made her the fastest Division II runner in the race. It was the second time this season she had been honored as the conference Runner of the Week.