From LEE SPORTS INFORMATION
DANVILLE, Ala. — In the third year of full eligibility in NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference, the Lee University cross country teams claimed a sweep of Saturday’s GSC championships at …
DANVILLE, Ala. — In the third year of full eligibility in NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference, the Lee University cross country teams claimed a sweep of Saturday’s GSC championships at the Jesse Owens XC Course.
The day started with a 29-point Flames win to record their third consecutive GSC Cross Country Championship. The Lady Flames finished the day with a 13-point advantage to earn the program’s first GSC title after finishing second the past two seasons. Alabama Huntsville finished second in both races.
The No. 16 Flames placed six runners in the top 20 on their way to posting 41 points. UAH scored 70 points, while Montevallo (126) was third and Mississippi College (127) was fourth.
Christian Noble was the men’s medalist. The sophomore covered the 8K distance in 24:31.26 to finish 12 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. Victor Onyango of West Alabama was second at 24:43.54.
“Christian ran a phenomenal race,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “He kind of ran with the field through two, two and a half miles and then really took off over the second half of the race.”
Seth Eagleson placed fourth with a time of 24:54.69 and Harold Smith gave the Flames a third runner in the top nine with a mark of 25:11.08. Caleb Eagleson and Ben Gilman rounded out the Lee scorers. Eagleson (25:21.74) was 12th and Gilman finished 15th (25:31.23).
“They executed great, we’ve never had a [No.] four, five and six run like that, especially in a championship,” added Morgan. “This is the lowest score we had of the three championships, so it’s definitely the best one we’ve had yet.”
Moises Ponce and Thomas Kelton served as spacers. Ponce was 20th with a time of 25:37.54 and Kelton recorded a time of 26:03.22 (31st).
Alex Carter was 41st across the line at 26:32.54. Jared Herzog’s time of 26:42.18 put him in 45th.
The Lady Flames, ranked No. 14, put all five scorers in the top 15 to tally 54 points. UAH was second with 67 points, Montevallo placed third (127) and Union (129) was fourth.
“We are so happy to come away with the win today,” said Morgan. “Getting second the last two years and losing last year by a point, to finally get it is pretty sweet for these girls. It’s really special for our seniors like Audrey Smith and Emily Buwalda to be able to experience that.”
Buwalda was the first Lady Flame to complete the 5K women’s race. Her time of 18:00.66 put her in at third. Katie Nelson of Montevallo was the individual winner at 17:33.65.
Amy Carpenter was ninth with a mark of 18:24.46. Becca Umbarger (18:45.41), Smith (18:45.66) and Charlee Boxall (18:48.23) finished 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively.
Blakely Moore and Logan Hernandez acted as the Lee displacers. Moore was 29th (19:21.39) and Hernandez was 31st (19:23.15). Lily Fell finished at 19:51.68 (50th) and Madison Hodges was 86th (21:33.49).
The Flames and Lady Flames combined to put five runners on the All-GSC First Team and six on the All-GSC Second Team. Noble, Seth Eagleson, Harold Smith, Buwalda and Carpenter earned first team honors by finishing in the top 10 of their races. Earning second team honors by placing 11th through 20th were Caleb Eagleson, Gilman, Ponce, Umbarger, Audrey Smith and Boxall. Morgan was voted the GSC Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.
The two squads return to action on Nov. 4 at the NCAA South Region Championship in Lakeland, Fla. The races will be contested at Lakeland’s Holloway Park and Nature Preserve.
Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE
Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE
We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.
If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.
Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE