Eagles excel in Royals Challenge while eyeing SAC Championships

Eagles excel in Royals Challenge while eyeing SAC Championships

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The Carson-Newman cross country team wrapped up competition at the Royals Challenge with a women's 26th ranking and a men's 35th-placing in what was the Eagles final tune up before the South Atlantic Conference cross country championships in two weeks.

"I thought the meet went extremely well and it was exactly what we expected for a tune up meet," coach Tyler Stepp said. "The course was extremely fast on both sides. Luke Greer and Antony Jackson recorded person-bests on the day, which was great, and that is exactly what you want from two of your horses going into the championships."

The Royals Challenge featured over 20 teams from all across the collegiate landscape. The runs were split into two groups with Division I programs racing in group 'A' and the rest of the field in group 'B'. The women competed in a five-kilometer run while the men took part once again in an eight-kilometer challenge.

Both the men and the women competed against a number of other runners from the Divison II,III and NAIA levels. Altogether, there were 345 women to run and 364 men to compete on the day.

Carson-Newman's women were paced once again by junior Hannah Green (Talbott, Tenn.) as the first Eagle to cross the finish line did so with a 20:10.7 time. Behind Green in 162nd-place overall was Sky McCarter (Sevierville, Tenn.) with a 20:34.9 time. Sarah Sharp (Lewis Center, Ohio), Priscah Jemeli (Eldorett, Kenya) and Bekah White (Rockford, Tenn.) placed 163rd, 198th and 205th, respectively.  

"I thought our women showed their strengths once again and showed truly how strong we are as one team," Stepp noted. "Our top-five girls who got scored were all within one minute of each other."

The men were led for the first time this season by Luke Greer (Abington, United Kingdom) as the junior competed in only his second cross country meet of his career. The former soccer player crossed the finish line 82nd-overall with a time of 26:16.3 to become the lone Eagle to break in the top-100.

Anthony Jackson (Manchester, Tenn.) came in behind Greer with a time of 27:32.3 for 175th-place and Amos Korir (Eldorett, Kenya) recorded a time of 28:52.1 for 260th-overall. Kellan Sabol (New London, N.C.) and Alec Bross (Charlotte, N.C.) concluded the run in the 321st and 326nd positions.

With earlier concern in the week regarding Hurricane Matthew and its effect it would serve on the race, the Eagles, along with the other 19 teams in competition, experienced decent running weather with no rain.  At first thought, it looked as if the day would consist of battling the elements, but Mother Nature decided not to intervene.

"Overall, a pretty solid meet. The conditions ended up being okay. Coach [Christian] Brewer and myself are extremely happy about the flashes of light that we saw today," Stepp said. "With two more weeks of training, hopefully we will be able to rock n' roll into the conference meet."

With three meets in the books, Carson-Newman will now set its sights towards the SAC championships that will take place on Oct. 22nd in Brevard, N.C. Stay up to date with everything Eagle cross country related on cneagles.com.


Carson-Newman Women (26th) - 5K



Hannah Green (137th)


Sky McCarter (162nd)


Sarah Sharp (163rd)


Priscah Jemeli (198th)


Bekah White (205th)



Carson-Newman Men (35th) – 8K



Luke Greer (82nd)


Anthony Jackson (175th)


Amos Korir (260th)


Kellan Sabol (321st)


Alec Bross (326th)