CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carson-Newman cross country team saw sophomore Rachel Strayer (Murfreesboro,TN) finish 33rd overall and graduate student Conal McCambridge (United Kingdom) place 54th at the Queens Royals Challenge in Charlotte, N.C.
The two have been the best finishers on both the men's and women's side in all but one event so far this season. That one event was the Wingate Invitaitonal which Strayer missed due to injury.
"…She showed a lot of grit and determination to push through and finish close to some of the best in our conference," acting coach Luke Greer said.
The women saw Strayer and freshman Klara Naude (South Africa) run the 5k. Naude was the second-place female runner for the Eagles for the third straight event.
"The positives we got out of this race is that she dug deeper than she has before," Greer said. "Which means in the coming races she has that next level she can push to."
The eight Eagles on the men's side that participated in the 8k finished 29th out of 57 programs at the event.
McCambridge forged ahead to the best of his ability despite the course not suiting his strengths.
"Queens and Louisville are fast, flat courses which allow for people to get new personal records," Greer said. "Conal is a real grinder and the more hilly and tough the course is the more he will flourish. Fortunately for us the conference and regional course will be a tough course so I'm looking forward to see him compete in those races."
Freshman Jasper Wilson (Chickamauga, GA) was the second-fastest finisher on the men's side yet again, a feat he has accomplished in every event this year.
"Jasper performed as he has each race this season," Greer said. "He has an old head young shoulders and continues to impress me with his performance. He matched his personal record today with tired legs so I'm excited to see what he can do on fresh legs."
"I'm really happy with how the team performed as a whole," Greer said. "The men had more personal records which is exactly what we're looking for at this point in the season. With a lot of freshman on this team each race is a learning curve and I've liked what I've seen from everyone."
The Eagles ran face-to-face with multiple conference rivals at this event, including the top two finishers in the South Atlantic Conference preseason poll, Queens and Wingate.
The Royals placed third in the event on the men's side while Catawba, Wingate and Anderson were 12 through 14. Lee University won the 8k.
The same rings true for the women although not enough Eagles ran on that side for them to place as a team. Queens took seventh place while Wingate and Anderson were 10th and 11th overall. Lee University also won the 5k.
The team next runs at the South Atlantic Conference championships in Wingate, N.C. on Oct. 26th, 2019 at 9 a.m.
Be sure to keep up with the C-N cross country team across Carson-Newman's social media platforms and on cneagles.com.