CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The 2006 New Balance Big South Conference Cross Country Championships Presented by UCS will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006, at the Miler Country Club in Summerville, S.C. The women’s race will start at 9:00am, followed by the men’s race at 9:45.
Led by Josh McDougal, the two-time defending men’s individual champion and 2004, 2005 All-American, the Liberty Flames look to win their second-straight Big South men’s team title. McDougal has won every race he has participated in this season, posting course records at two races, as well as winning 17 of 19 career races. The only races he has not won was the 2004 National Championship, where he finished 13th and the 2005 National Championship where he finished fourth. The Flames, the preseason favorites voted by the League’s coaches and sports information directors, are currently ranked fifth in the Southeast Region.
A total of seven Big South runners, including McDougal, have won in races this season. Tamas Kovacs of High Point, the 2005 Big South Freshman of the Year, placed first at the Wake Forest Relays on Sept. 1. Anthony Harris of VMI took the top spot at the VMI Cross Country Opener. Jamie McCarthey took first in his home event at the CCU Invitational, while Radford’s Dawitt Legesse was No. 1 at the Lenior Rhyne Invitational. UNC Asheville’s Jon Harmon took top honors at the Bulldog Invitational and Brandon Hudgins of Winthrop won the Winthrop Invitational to round out the list of top finishers for the men.
The list of returning All-Conference winners for the men include, McDougal, Kovacs, Donnie Mikels-Cowart of VMI, Liberty’s Jarvin Jelen and Drew Ponder and Doug Currie of Coastal Carolina.
On the women’s side, Coastal Carolina looks to win its sixth-straight Big South Cross Country Championship on Saturday. The Lady Chanticleers are lead by freshman sensation Julia Viellehner. Viellehner has won two races this year, posting course records at two events. CCU’s women’s squad, the preseason favorite, is the only team in Big South history to have won five-straight League titles and were recently ranked ninth in the Southeast Region.
Two other Big South harriers have posted No. 1 finishes this season. Lori Crotts of Radford took first in the VMI Cross Country Opener as well as the No. 1 spot at the Lenior Rhyne Invitational. UNC Asheville’s Emily Mase finished atop the podium at the Bulldog Invitational on Sept. 8.
A total of five returning All-League runners will be back for the women. Sarah Roberts and Carol Jefferson return for while Liberty, while Felicitas Mensing (Coastal Carolina), Kali Burt (High Point) and Kelsey Stafford (VMI) will each look to add another All-Conference honor this year.
The 2006 New Balance Big South Conference Cross Country Championships are free to spectators.