Eagles, Lady Eagles host C-N Challenge Saturday morning at Panther Creek
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The Carson-Newman Cross Country team hopes to build on their early-season success when they host the Carson-Newman Challenge at Panther Creek State Park in Morristown, Tenn. Saturday.
The race is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. with South Atlantic Conference rivals Brevard, Catawba, Lincoln Memorial and Tusculum competing alongside Johnson Bible, Maryville, Tennessee-Wesleyan and Tiffin.
On the men's side, the Eagles should get another great performance from junior Angel Soriano (Weatherford, Texas), who finished in 23rd place at University of
Alabama-Huntsville Invitational on Sept. 10. Freshman Luke Hall (Seymour, Tenn.) finished in 38th place and helped the Eagles take fourth place as a team in the event.
Brevard boasts two possible Top 10 finishers in Bart Merkel and Jordan Tager. Catawba's Christian Crafasi is a preseason All-SAC selection who is a danger to win the individual men's race.
Lincoln Memorial's on preseason All-SAC runner, Derrick Lindsay, along with Maryville's Boston Maxwell and Tusculum's David Cooper will load the field with tough, well-conditioned distance runners.
Former Tusculum runner Simon Holzapfel, now running unattached, is the defending men's champion and will be competing in the race.
In the women's draw, the Lady Eagles are well-rested after their fourth place finish in the Eye Opener event in Spartanburg, S.C. on Sept. 2.
Sophomore Katie Hayes (Jackson, Tenn.) had the fastest time for the C-N women in Spartanburg, recording a 20:23 and should do even better on her home course. Junior Hannah Reese (Brandon, Miss.) was close behind Hayes at 20:36 and junior Samantha McConeghey (Johnston, Iowa) put down a 21:55. All should be a factor in the C-N Challenge.
Brevard will bring its preseason All-SAC runner Madison Hill to the competition, joined by fellow All-SAC participants Peyton Thompson and Olivia Myers from Catawba.
Fiona Reinecke from Lincoln Memorial garnered an All-SAC selection as well and will compete alongside teammate Sofia Mimendi-Lopez.
Tennessee-Wesleyan's Sarah Birgen returns to the field to defend her 2010 C-N challenge title. Tiffin's runners could be a factor as well, as the team was named to the preseason Top 10 list in NAIA's Midwest Region.
Carson-Newman is led by head coach Whitney Lee, now in his 10th season.