Excitement and anticipation surround cross-country teams as they head to the SAC Championships

Excitement and anticipation surround cross-country teams as they head to the SAC Championships

VIDEO: Phillips Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Championship season has arrived for the Carson-Newman Cross Country teams and they hit the road Friday for the South Atlantic Conference Championships in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

"We've put putting in the training and putting in the work, Coach Phillips said. "Workouts have been going great, we're excited and ready to turn some heads." 

It's been roughly three weeks since the Eagles last competed at the Queens City Royals Challenge on October 12thand they are all eager to jump back in. Rachel Strayer (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) has led the women's side with a solid season so far for her college debut. The freshman placed 13thin her very first collegiate race at the Lenoir-Rhyne invitational, 24that the Queens City Invitational and setting a new school record and personal record, 31stin the Royals Challenge with a time of 18:14.

"I'm very excited to be able to run in my first collegiate championship race." Strayer said. "Hopefully with everyone working as hard as we have been, we can blow our initial ranking out of the water." 

Luke Greer (Abington, Northampton, United Kingdom), has once again dominated on the men's side. After having an injury over the summer and only mustering two weeks of training before the start of the season, Greer won the LR Invitational like nothing ever happened. Two weeks later he placed 7thin the Queens City Invitational and followed that up with a 5thplace finish at the Royals Challenge with a time of 23:58. That run set a new school record and earned him the South Atlantic Conference Cross Country Runner of the Week honor.

"I'm looking forward to locking horns with the best of the SAC and hope that I come out on top." Greer said of this weekend. "I'm excited to see how the team stacks up with the rest of the conference. Training has been great so maybe we can spring a few surprises."

Not only has Carson-Newman been able to run against division I schools and other schools around the region, but they made a point to compete in meets where fellow conference teams were running as well to see where they stood. 

"It's helped immensely." Coach Phillips said. "Part of the reason we chose to go to those last couple meets that Queens were hosting so we could see that direct head to head competition with members of the SAC and the South East region. It's helped confidence, it's helped mood and attitude, and we're excited." 

The event will be held at the Roger Milliken Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina with the men running at 9 a.m. and the women at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning. 

To keep up with results and more, shimmy on back to cneagles.com.

- CN -