JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – For the first time in three weeks the Carson-Newman cross country team will be in action on Saturday morning, taking part in the Asheville Cross Country Invitational.
"We've been taking some big steps to get ready for this upcoming race," Carson-Newman assistant cross country coach Christian Brewer said. "We've been laying the foundation for what's to come, with the conference meet in about a month."
The Eagles will compete against ten other schools including five Division I schools and fellow South Atlantic Conference opponent Lenoir-Rhyne.
"This weekend is a good opportunity for us to show where we stand against conference competition," Brewer commented. "On the men's side Lenior-Rhyne is tenth in the region and we are not far behind them, so I think that we can show them that we can compete with them."
The competition will be untraditional from a mileage standpoint, generally the men's team will compete in an eight-kilometer race while the women's team competes in a five-kilometer race. This week's competition the men will compete in a four mile race and the women will run a two mile loop.
Carson-Newman is looking to build off an impressive start to the season. Three weeks ago the Eagles cross country squads competed in the Tusculum Open and each team finished third overall in the competition.
Luke Greer (Abington, United Kingdom) finished first overall in the men's race, setting a new personal record in a five-kilometer race in the process. Kelvin Ronoh was another top performer for the Eagles in their opening meet coming in third overall.
"Luke had a good summer of training and he came out and showed what he's got." Brewer replied, "I think that he is going to take another big step this weekend and establish himself as one of the favorites in the conference going into October."
Bekah White (Rockford, Tenn.) was the first to cross the line for the women's cross country team during the Tusculum open. Freshman Lindsey Williams and junior Priscah Jemeli came in ninth and tenth place giving the Eagles three runners inside the top-ten.
"The women are great, they are fun to work with because they have six or seven girls that are training together every day." Brewer commented, "That close pack is fun to watch in a race because the first one comes through and the rest are right behind her."
The last time the Eagles ventured to the Tar Heel state was last season when they competed in the Royals Challenge in Charlotte, N.C. The women's cross country finished the competition in 26th place, while the men's team finished 35th.
The men's team will race first at 9 a.m. and the women's race will follow about a half-hour later. A recap of the race will be posted on cneagles.com at the conclusion of the race.