JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman cross country teams will be racing in the Allen and Phyllis Morgan Invitational-Battle at Mossy Creek on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.
"I think anytime you do anything for the first time it is pretty special," Carson-Newman cross country coach Tyler Stepp said. "It has certainly been a learning experience for our staff and for our kids having to go through the process of running a home meet for the first time."
The race is the first ever to be held on the campus of Carson-Newman, in years past the Eagles have hosted home meets at Panther Creek State Park located in Morristown, Tenn.
Both the men's and women's teams will compete in a five-kilometer race along the banks of Mossy Creek.
The Eagles will face-off against King, Milligan and Tennessee Wesleyan on Friday. Carson-Newman has already raced against Milligan this season at the Asheville Cross Country Invitational. Milligan placed third in the women's race and fourth in the men's race both ahead of Carson-Newman.
"I think that they are good teams and they are going to come ready and run well," Stepp replied.
Luke Greer (Abington, Northhampton, United Kingdom) has won the Eagles first two events on the season. In each race the senior leader has set new personal records for the five-kilometer run and a four-mile run. Greer will look to keep his win streak alive on Friday afternoon, this time in front of a home crowd.
Freshman Kelvin Ronoh has had a strong first year for the Eagles. Ronoh finished third at the Tusculum open and sixth at the Asheville Cross Country Invitational. Amos Korir (Eldoret, Kenya) has two top-15 finishes this season and will look to break into the top-ten for the first time on Friday afternoon.
"I'm just real proud of those guys, they have really stepped up this season." Stepp said, "They have taken off with the training that they are doing and we are looking for Luke to win again this weekend. Kelvin, Amos, Anthony and the rest of the guys have been solid this season and we look for it to continue tomorrow."
Anthony Jackson (Manchester, Tenn.), Cameron McKinley, Jared Eddy (Harrison, Tenn.) and Jeremiah McCarter (Sevierville, Tenn.) round out the men's team and each runner will look for their first top-25 finish on the season.
The women's team will look to keep their pack mentality going into the third race of the season. Bekah White (Rockford, Tenn.) and Priscah Jemeli (Eldoret, Kenya) have each taken turns passing the women's teams this season. White was the top finisher in the Tusculum open while Jemeli ran the top time for the team at the Asheville Invitational.
"They are a true team," Stepp responded. "People think that cross country and track & field are individual sports but those girls work better together than I have ever seen."
Lindsey Williams has finished second on the team in both races while recording a top-ten finish in the Tusculum open. Skye McCarter (Sevierville, Tenn.) and Sarah Sharp (Lewis Center, Ohio) each have top-25 finishes this season and will look to pick up their second this weekend.
Both Milligan teams are ranked inside the top-25 NAIA rankings coming into Friday afternoon's matchup. The Milligan women are 15th in the nation and hold a 3-0 record against Division II schools. The men's team is ranked 25th and hold a 3-1 record against Division II opponents.
The Tennessee Wesleyan men's team is coming off a strong showing at the Jacksonville State Invitational placing second out of 20 teams. The women's team has finished in the top three of every event they have raced this season including a win at the Reinhardt Invitational.
King University is sending a partial team to compete in the event.
For live results of the coverage head over to TimingInc.com and of course go to cneagles.com for all your post race coverage.