SPARTANBURG, South Carolina – Carson-Newman sent the cross-country teams to the South Atlantic Conference Championships Saturday morning and had favorable results with Luke Greer, Kathie O'Neill, and Rachel Strayer earning All-Conference honors.
Luke Greer (Abington, Northampton, United Kingdom) went into the race with the mindset of improving from the last time and finished second overall with a time of 24:42. In the midst of a flurry of runners from Queens University, he was only narrowly behind Daniel Wallis.
"Tough race, Daniel Wallis (Queens) is a great competitor and unfortunately pipped me at the end." Greer said of his finish. "The next race is regionals so I'm looking to bounce back and hopefully the longer distance will work in my favor."
The next Eagle that crossed the finish line was Cameron McKinley (Brighton, Tenn.) with a time of 26:37 at 30thplace. Kelvin Ronoh (Eldorat, Kenya), Brandon McKinley (Brighton, Tenn.), and Anthony Jackson (Manchester, Tenn.) followed. The Eagles finished 8thas a team in the contest.
"As a whole, i believe that we ran some incredible races today." Coach Eric Phillips said. "On the men's side, we went out there and left it on the table. It wasn't a perfect day but it was a gutsy day and I'm proud of how we raced."
For the women, Rachel Strayer (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) once again powered through and finished 6thoverall with a time of 22:29. She was the first freshman runner to cross the finish line earning her Freshman of the Year Honors.
"The race was great!" Strayer said. "The course was good and the weather was nearly perfect for my first ever 6k race."
Following Strayer was Kathie O'Neill (Sevierville, Tenn.) at 11th place and Skye McCarter (Sevierville, Tenn.) and Bekah White (Rockford, Tenn.) buddying up to finish 30th and 31st. Priscah Jemeli (Eldorate, Kenya), Amy Davidson (Greeneville, Tenn.), Lindsey Williams (Wilmington, North Carolina), Alexis Brown (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Hannah Pelham (Sevierville, Tenn.) rounded out the race for the Eagles. The ladies picked up a 4thplace finish in the contest.
"The Lady Eagles ran out of their minds today," Phillips said of the women. "They committed to a race plan that we've been preparing for all fall. We've been saying since day one that we wanted to get out there and turn some heads and I think we did just that. Getting Kathie back in uniform was a complete blessing and our pack of seniors out there, Skye, Bekah, Priscah, Lindsey and Amy, it was just so fun to watch them develop and to see all of our hard work start to come to fruition. We head down to Oakwood, Georgia for the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on the 17th and we hope to keep turning heads there. I couldn't be more proud of these young men and women."
Next on the schedule for competition is the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship in Oak Wood, Georgia on November 17th.
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