Coastal Carolina Men Win to Highlight XC Action

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Coastal Carolina Men's Cross Country Wins Gamecock Open
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Coastal Carolina's men's cross country team won the season opening 5-kilometer Gamecock Open on Friday, September 2.

The Chanticleers placed all five scorers in the top 11 of the 31 competitor field to tally 26 total points en route to winning the event. The Citadel finished second with 36 team points followed by Charleston Southern (73) and South Carolina State (105).

Freshman Joseph Keitt, running in his first collegiate race, won the event in a staggering 15:43.44 clip. Fellow freshman Evan Niciphor finished six seconds behind Keitt in 15:49.63 to place second. Sophomore Cameron Wells placed fifth in 16:23.82, besting his previous collegiate 5k best of 16:32. Tyler Cummings crossed the finish line in 16:27.76 to place seventh. Zach Hensel rounded out the Chants scoring placing 11th with a time of 16:56.69.

Spencer Lange finished the course in 17:42.48 to place 20th.

Coastal Carolina will return to action on Saturday, September 17 as hosts to the 7th Annual Coastal Carolina University Invitational/Big South Preview on the grounds of Quail Creek Golf Club. The men's 8k race will start at 8:30 a.m.

Coastal Carolina Women's Cross Country Places Second at the Gamecock Open
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Coastal Carolina's women's cross country team placed second in the season opening 5-kilometer Gamecock Open on Friday, September 2.

Coastal tallied 51 total points to place second behind host South Carolina's 23 total points. Georgia Southern finished third with 73 points followed by The Citadel (108) and Charleston Southern (116).

Sophomore Emily Marchini won the event with a time of 18:36.12. The Massapequa, N.Y. native passed four competitors in the final 1,000 meters, including two in the last 150 meters on the way to her first collegiate win. Senior Christian Johnson placed sixth finishing in a 19:00.23 clip. Janel Reeves, a junior, finished eighth with a time of 19:14.62.

Jessica Dennison nearly turned in a fourth Chanticleer top ten effort as she placed 11th with a time of 19:32.78. Freshman Briana D'amato rounded out the Coastal scoring as the 25th Division I competitor to cross the finish line in a time of 21:49.72.

Coastal Carolina will return to action on Saturday, September 17 as hosts to the 7th Annual Coastal Carolina University Invitational/Big South Preview on the grounds of Quail Creek Golf Club. The women's 8k race will start at 9:15 a.m.

Church, Moye Lead VMI at Season-Opening Relays
LEXINGTON, Va. - Freshman Michelle Church and junior Jenna Moye recorded top-six finishes, and VMI's top four runners all placed in the top-11 en route to a third-place finish at the VMI Relays, contested Friday afternoon at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington.
 
Church's individual time of 18:13 was fourth overall, as she ran her 1.5 mile legs in 9:16 and 8:57 respectively. Moye was sixth in 18:16 (9:22/8:54), while junior Leah Schubel was eighth in 18:32 (9:08/9:24) and freshman Emily Dinning was 11th-fastest in 18:47 (9:21/9:26).
 
Church and Schubel combined to finish second in the team standings with a time of 36:45, while Moye and Dinning finished fourth as a unit in 37:03. VMI's third scoring pair was Hannah Dickinson and Ally Kuehm, who placed 13th in 39:50. Those three pairings accounted for VMI's team total of 19 points, which was five points behind James Madison (14) and three behind Cincinnati (16). Concord (38), Radford (39) and Longwood (58) rounded out the team results.
 
As mentioned above, Dickinson and Kuehm combined to finish 13th, with times of 20:03 and 19:47 respectively, good enough for 27th and 23rd on the individual side of the event. Other VMI pairings were Lindsey Carty (20:19/31st) and Nina Srikongyos (21:05/35th), who finished 17th and Hannah Best (20:50/33rd) and Molly Western (21:37/38th), who placed 18th.
 
Alison Zukowski of Cincinnati was the fastest runner overall, completing the three-mile distance in 17:34, 28 seconds faster than her closest competitor.
 
VMI will return to action Saturday, September 10, as the Keydets take part in the Washington & Lee Invite in Lexington. Action at the Dick Miller Course will get underway at 10 a.m.

MacDonald, Edwards Go 1-2 in XC Season Opener
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Liberty's Josh MacDonald and Zac Edwards swept the top two spots in the men's race, highlighting a successful beginning to the 2011 cross country season, Friday evening at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational. Meanwhile, freshman Jacy Christiansen paced four Lady Flames inside the top 10 women's finishers.

The low-key meet, which was not team scored, featured runners from Liberty, host Virginia Tech and a collection of Virginia Tech alumni. Both races were affected by the weather, beginning with a thunderstorm which delayed the start of the women's race for more than 20 minutes. Later, a second thunderstorm descended upon the Blacksburg area just as the last men's runners were crossing the finish line.

Men's Race Recap
MacDonald, a sophomore, went out aggressively and led for most of the men's 6K race. He then held off teammate Edwards down the final straightaway for his first collegiate cross country victory. MacDonald's official time was 19:26.94, while Edwards followed closely in 19:28.71. Both Flames were more than 20 seconds clear of the third-place finisher in a dominating performance.

Liberty's next two men's finishers, both sophomores, also came in back-to-back positions. Jarred Cornfield finished eighth of 32 runners in 20:12.87 with classmate Caleb Edmonds nabbing the ninth position in a time of 20:18.45.

Nate Jones (12th place, 20:37.73), David Ricksecker (14th, 20:50.48) and Isaac Wendland (15th, 20:50.69) closed out the Flames' top seven on a humid Friday.    

Women's Race Recap
Christiansen was actually the second collegiate finisher in the women's field of 28 runners, trailing only Virginia Tech's Mary Catherine Sowder in that category. Christiansen traversed the undulating 4K course in a time of 15:43.13 for fourth place overall.

Sophomore Katie Russo and junior Betel Yosef sprinted stride for stride in the closing meters, with Russo edging her teammate at the line. Russo took sixth place in 16:20.87, while Yosef was seventh in 16:21.34.

A pair of freshmen joined Christiansen inside the Lady Flames' top five, in the form of Stephanie Buda and Caroline Parris. Buda took 10th place with her 16:33.41 clocking, with Parris' 17:10.93 effort netting the 11th position.

Continuing the team's pattern, Liberty's No. 6 and 7 finishers also completed the race one right after another. Lyndi Fielitz placed 13th in 17:24.34, while Alyssa Allen grabbed the 14th spot overall in 17:31.01.

Liberty will return to action Sept. 17, when the Flames and Lady Flames travel to Conway, S.C. for the Coastal Carolina Invitational/Big South Preview. The meet, which will be contested at the 2011 Big South Cross Country Championships race course, will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Radford Performs Well at VMI XC Relays
LEXINGTON, Va. - The Radford cross country programs saw their first action of 2011 Friday afternoon at the VMI XC Relays and included four top-15 finishes. 
 
The unique opening event, held at the Virginia Horse Center, featured teams of two runners completing a series of circuits in a relay-style format.
 
On the men's side, freshman Ryan Farnan (Winchester, Va./Millbrook) and Sam Keltner (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) teamed up and combined to run a 42:51, placing 14th overall.  Right on their heels in 15th were teammates Chris Weeks (Hamilton, Va./Loudoun Valley) and Thomas Keefe (Fairfax Station, Va./South County Secondary), who crossed the finish line in 43:15.
 
The new look women's squad turned in two top 15 performances as well.  The freshmen duo of Teresa Williamson (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) and Madeline Thomas (Springfield, Va./Bishop Ireton) led the way for Radford in 11th place, clocking a 38:56 and were followed by junior Hannah Scheren (Lovettsville, Va./Loudoun Valley) and freshman Emily Marshall (Prince George, Va./Prince George) in 12th place at 39:18. 
 
In the first leg, Williamson recorded Radford's top time for the women at 9:18 while Weeks charted a 10:22 for the men during the second leg.

UNC Asheville Cross Country Teams Finish 3rd at WCU 
CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's and women's cross country teams both finished third at the season-opening Western Carolina Invitational Friday evening.

The Bulldog women's squad had 71 points as they finished behind Florida and Western Carolina in the meet. The men's team posted 80 and finished behind the Gators and Catamounts, as well.

On the men' s side, freshman Kevin Paradise ran the 5K course with a time of 15:57 and finished in eighth place. Aaron Martin came in 15th at a time of 16:47.

Seniors' Eliud Chirchir (17:01) and Carlos Lopez (17:05) came in 17th and 18th respectively. Freshman Elliott Short-Pahel took 22nd at a time of 17:56. Adam Schnapp finished 24th at 18:06.

The women's team was led by freshman Adrian Etheridge who came in 10th place with a time of 11:52 over the two-mile course. Clair Powell finished 12th with a time of 12:21, followed closely by Kylie Smith at 12:31. She took 14th.

Kasey Briggs came in 17th with a time of 12:40, while Alyska Kalmeijer finished 18th at 12:42.

Both teams will run again on Sept. 16 at the Appalachian Open in Boone.