OAK WOOD, G.A. – The Carson-Newman cross-country teams traveled to the Southeast Region Championship Saturday morning where three Eagles earned All-Region honors. The men finished 15th overall and the women 12th overall.
"Phenomenal effort," Coach Eric Phillips said. "With Luke, it was a dog fight from the gun. It was a true race, you couldn't have asked for a better race. Rachel and Kathie finishing up front, All-Region to end out the year, it's what we've been training for since day one. To see those kinds of goals accumulate finally, it was a special day."
Battling neck and neck until the very end, Luke Greer came in second place overall for the men in the 10k race right behind Joshua Chepkesir of UNC Pembroke. With a time of 31:10.23, Greer earned All-Region honors and a ticket to the NCAA DII National Championships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 1st. On top of that, he ran into the record books for Carson-Newman once again setting the top time for a 10k in school history. Greer also set the record for the 8k just a few weeks ago at the Royals Challenge.
"We've been preparing for the 10k for a lot of the season now," Luke Greer said. "I think I do better with the long distances, it's a little bit harder training but that's what we do. Getting All-American is the major goal going into these Nationals. I'm pleased to make it, and I'll just see how well I can do there."
The men finished 15th overall with Cameron McKinley crossing the line second for the Eagles with a time of 34:25.12 and his doppelgänger (or twin brother) finishing behind him at 36:08.38. Anthony Jackson, Kelvin Ronoh, Jared Eddy and Jeremiah McCarter rounded out the race for the men.
On the women's side, the All-Conference pair of freshman Rachel Strayer and senior Kathie O'Neill earned themselves another medal with their top twenty-five finishes. Strayer finished 12th overall with a time of 22:56.84 and O'Neill came in 16th at 23:15.51 giving them the All-Region title.
"I felt good," Strayer said. "It was a fast course and I had a lot of fun. I didn't really know what to expect this season with all of the 6k's and running against twenty-year-olds. I'm pretty optimistic about next year, I hope that Nationals might be in the picture, so we'll see!"
This race marked the second for O'Neill this season as she battled for redshirt eligibility throughout the semester.
"It was a little tough," O'Neill said. "I think we had even better finishes this race. We just came out and left it all on the course. My eligibility came through about two hours before race time (at the SAC Championships). It was a little bit stressful, but I think I did a good job putting that out of my mind and making a difference for our team."
The women finished 12th overall as a team as Priscah Jemeli finished 3rd for the team with a time of 25:38.39. Amy Davidson, Lindsey Williams and Bekah White finished within ten spots of each other and Alexis Brown finished the race for the Eagles.
Luke Greer will compete in the NCAA Division II National Championships on December 1stin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to finish out the 2018 cross-country season. To see how the senior fares in that contest check back on cneagles.com.
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