Eagles battle crowded field, shave off seconds from top times at Royals Pre-region Challenge

Eagles battle crowded field, shave off seconds from top times at Royals Pre-region Challenge
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Sara Honaker and Nick Guerra both took nearly a minute off their top times as Carson-Newman cross country's top finishers at the Royals Pre-Region Challenge in Charlotte, N.C., Friday evening. 

Carson-Newman's women's cross country team finished 22nd out of 30 non-Division I teams ranging from DII, DIII to NAIA, while the men's team finished 20th out of 28 teams. 

Honaker was the top finisher on the women's side for C-N.  She came in 93rd with a time of 20:22.4 on the 5k course.  Guerra represented the top finisher for the men's team with his mark of 27:50.1 over the eight kilometer course.  Guerra finished 74th.

For the women, Amanda Bowman came in 112 with a 20:48.8, Megan Farjellah followed at 138 with a 21:34.6.  Rachel Hutson was 14 seconds behind Farjellah in 147th place.  Aiyana Martino rounded out the top five finishers for the Eagles in 188th with a 23:21.0.  All five finishers had their best times of the season on a five kilometer course.  For non-Division I competition, the race had 240 competitors.

The Carson-Newman women finished in front of Coker and Newberry among SAC competition

The top collegiate finisher in the non-Division I class was Hannah Witt of King, who was timed in 17:22.6 for a 24-second victory over runner-up Jessy Scarpone of SCAD. Wingate won the team title with 43 points, followed by Savannah Art & Design (123), UNC Pembroke (137), King (140) and Queens (173).

For Carson-Newman's men, Alec Bross finished behind Guerra, shaving nearly 45 seconds off his season best time with a 28:33.2 to finish in 108th place.  Patrick Stump turned in a 29:05.3, good for a 129th place finish.  Steven Spidell and Mark Edwards rounded out C-N's top men's runners in 166th and 173rd place with times of 30:41.1 and 30:53.1, respectively.

King University won the non-Division I team competition with 62 points, followed by Mars Hill (93), GRU Augusta (105), UNC Pembroke (171) and Shorter (183). Felix Duchampt of the host Royals was the class winner with a time of 24:52.8, nearly 11 seconds ahead of the next-closest competitor. 

The Eagles now set their sights toward the SAC Championships, October 26 in Black Mountain, N.C.