HPU's Crawford & LaCoste Highlight Cross Country Action

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HPU's Crawford, LaCoste Combine to win Demon Deacon Quad
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The relay team of junior Patrick Crawford and redshirt-freshman Jeff LaCoste won the Demon Deacon Quad meet to lead the High Point University men's cross country team to the team win in its season opener. Sophomore Reece Ayers and freshman Paddy Grandinali teamed up to place second overall.

High Point's relays combined to score a low of eight points followed by Wake Forest (14), Elon (25) and UNC Greensboro (31).

Crawford and LaCoste combined to run their 15,000 meters in a winning time of 47:59. The Panthers' tandem of Ayers and Grandinali placed second overall in 48:28.

HPU freshmen Kevin Maguire and Ben Robinson ran a composite time of 49:10, just edging out the duo of senior Dakota Peachee and freshman Cody Seymour. Next up, junior John Yankello and sophomore Chris Colo finished in 51:00 and freshmen Kevin Kreider and Zach Hostetler rounded it out in 51:15.

The Panthers will be off for two weeks before competing in the Big South Preview on Sept. 15 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. It's the same course the Big South Championship will be run on Oct. 27.

Hunt and Farina lead HPU Women's Cross Country in Opener
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The High Point University women's cross country team opened the 2012 season at the Demon Deacon Quad at Wake Forest on Friday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C. The relay tandem of senior Kelsey Hunt and freshman Katie Farina led High Point.

In the team standings, Elon won with a low score of six points followed by High Point (19), Wake Forest (21) and UNC Greensboro (32).

Hunt and Farina combined to run a time of 39:04 for 10,000 meters. The runners each ran two 2,500-meter legs. For her combined 5,000-meters, Hunt was HPU's leader for the day with a total of 19:13.

The Panthers' second tandem was sophomore Lauren Blackwell and freshman Erika Peoples. They finished in 39:21. Junior Audrey Malloy and freshman Julia Zautcke made up High Point's third relay team with a total time of 40:35.

High Point's next race is the Big South Preview on Sept. 15 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. It will be run on the same course as the Big South Championship on Oct. 27.

Liberty XC Runs in Packs at Season Opener
BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Liberty men's and women's cross country teams both employed the same strategy at Friday evening's season-opening Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational. The top Flames and Lady Flames ran their respective races together in tight packs on a sunny, steamy day at the Virginia Tech Cross Country Course.

The low-key, non-team scored meet also featured runners from Duke, Radford, Virginia and host Virginia Tech. The races allowed the ACC competitors a chance to preview the venue for the 2012 ACC Cross Country Championships.

In the women's 4K race, the top seven Lady Flames crossed the finish line within 1.59 seconds of one another, notching places No. 26 through 32 in the field of 66 women's entrants. Jessica Gass led the way in 15:29.72, with Khristina Kanagy (15:30.01), Stephanie Buda (15:30.27), Meredith Mistretta (15:30.53) and Jacy Christiansen (15:30.78) right on her heels. Sisters Katie (15:31.04) and Courtney Russo (15:31.31) closed out the lead pack, with the latter making a solid collegiate debut.

On the men's side, Liberty's six-member pack included four freshmen. The Flames placed 23rd through 28th out of 60 finishers in the men's 6K, paced by freshman Will Templeton's 19:39.75 clocking. Following within 1.6 seconds were teammates Ngetich Kipchirchir (19:40.02), Zach Barker (19:40.30), Sam Hibbs (19:40.61), Jeremie Bourget (19:40.90) and Caleb Edmonds (19:41.35).

Liberty's next meet will be the Sept. 15 Winthrop/Adidas Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. Contested at the site of the 2012 Big South Cross Country Championships, the meet will begin with the men's 8K race at 9 a.m. The women's 5K will follow at 9:45, at the Winthrop Coliseum and Farm.

Farnan, Scheren Lead Radford at VT Invitational
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Ryan Farnan (Winchester, Va./Millbrook) and Hannah Scheren (Lovettsville, Va./Loudoun Valley) led the way for the Radford cross country men's and women's teams in their first meets of the 2012 campaign at the VT Invitational.
 
Farnan finished 32nd in a group of 60 runners with his time of 19:55.96. Teammate Brian Gorwitz (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) was right behind with a 20:01.80 performance to finish 35th. Alan Weaver (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run) (20:06.06) and Sam Keltner (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) (20:42.42) crossed the line in 37th and 45th, respectively. Chris Weeks (Hamilton, Va./Loudoun Valley) was clocked at 20:49.48, which put him in 48th place.
 
In the women's race, Scheren led the Highlander harriers with a 47th-place showing. The senior from Lovettsville, Va. was clocked at 16:28.20, while sophomore Madeline Thomas (Springfield, Va./Bishop Ireton) finished right behind her in 48th place at 16:30.34. Sophomore Emily Marshall (Prince George, Va./Prince George) finished with a time of 16:46.45 to position her in 51st, while junior Ashley Lounsbury (Crozet, Va./Western Albemarle) finished 62nd with a 18:16.81 performance.
 
Freshman Alyssa Walker (Roanoke, Va./Northside) posted a 63rd-place performance in her first collegiate meet with a time of 18:22.61, while junior Katie Hickey (Centreville, Va./Centreville) was clocked at 19:50.79 for a 65th-place finish.
 
Radford's next meet is at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational in Hickory, N.C. on Sept. 8.

Bulldog Women Second, Men Fourth at WCU Invite
CULLOWHEE, N.C.- Paced by senior runner Emma Bussard, the UNC Asheville women's cross country squad earned a second place finish, while the Asheville men earned a fourth place finish  at the Western Carolina Invitational on Friday evening at the Catamount Athletic Complex.

Florida took the women's two-mile race with 17 points, while the Bulldogs posted a strong second-place tally of 59 points, finishing ahead of third-place UNC Charlotte, who were ranked 11th overall in the NCAA Southeast Region preseason poll.
 
Bussard led Asheville, finishing fifth overall, crossing in 11:38.4 behind the first four Florida runners. Junior Melanie Kulesz ran 11:46.7 for eighth place, and freshman Kelsie Rubino came in right behind her in ninth place in 11:50. After a slight gap back to their fourth and fifth runners, sophomore Scarlett Beamon placed 17th (12:11.1), with Rachel Carson, a junior finishing in 20th (12:18.5).

The men's race also resulted in a Florida victory, with 19 points with Western Carolina in second with 55 points, UNC Charlotte in third with 96 points, and UNC Asheville rounding out the top four with 110 points.
 
Asheville's top three packed together well with freshman Jeremy Gower finishing 11th overall, clocking 15:54.6 behind teammate Kevin Paradise, a sophomore who placed 12th in 15:55.2. Freshman Andy Thornburg rounded the Bulldogs' top three in 16:01.6, surprising his coach with a gutsy 14th-place result.
 
After Thornburg, there was nearly a 40-second gap before the next Bulldog crossed the line, which was freshman Skyler Winchester in 29th (16:39.4). Freshman Ryan Catrine finished in 36th-place (16:53.9) to close out the Bulldogs' scoring runners.

The gap back from the top three places to fourth and fifth place is something that Norman plans on focusing on in practice.

Next for Asheville will be the Big South Preview meet at Rock Hill, S.C. at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Gardner-Webb Cross Country Competes in Season Opener at Western Carolina Friday Night Cullowhee, N.C. - Gardner-Webb cross country competed in its season opener Friday night, running in the Western Carolina University Cross-Country Invitational in Cullowhee, N.C., boasting a number of top showings in its first meet of the 2012 season.
 
Leading the women was senior Elisabeth Sawyer (Charlotte, N.C.), who raced to a time of 12:21.1 in the 2 Mile Run to record the fastest time for the Runnin' Bulldogs in the event. Sawyer's time was good enough for 22nd place overall.
 
Fellow senior Ariel Zimmerman (Williamsburg, Va.) came in 25th place overall, crossing the finish line at 12:29.9 next for GWU.
 
Senior Leah Steinke (Green Cove Springs, Fla.) and junior Katie Spiro (Sylva, N.C.) were next for Gardner-Webb running times of 13:13.6 and 13:15.2 respectively. Senior Megan Frost (Crofton, Md.) rounded out the top five finishers for the Gardner-Webb women, finishing with a time of 13:29.1.
 
Junior Mike McClay (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led the way for the Runnin' Bulldog men in the season opening 5K Run, recording a time of 16:38.7 to finish 28th overall.
 
Josiah Stanton-Brooks (Seattle, Wash.) finished with the second fastest time for the Gardner-Webb men, as the senior finished in 17:08.7. Juniors Justin Loy (Burrington, N.H.) and Trey Crook (Lexington, N.C.) were next for GWU, recording times of  17:53.9 and 17:54.5 respectively.
 
Junior Drew Ford (Wasilla, Alaska) grabbed the fifth spot, finishing with a time of 19:01.8.
 
Gardner-Webb will be back in action next Saturday (Sep. 8) for the Charlotte Duels 8K/5K located in Concord, N.C. Start time for Saturday's Duels is set for 9:00 a.m.

Both Winthrop Cross Country Teams Finish 5th In Cullowhee
CULLOWHEE, NC--The Winthrop men's and women's cross country teams finished fifth in the season opening Western Carolina Invitational which was run Friday evening on the WCU campus.

The men's team compiled 110 points and the women, 113, in the two races that were won by the University of Florida.  A total of eight schools competed in the event.

Freshman Ryan McCann achieved his first collegiate top 10 finish and was the top frosh finisher as he placed ninth in the men's 5K event with a time of 15:52.06.  Two other Eagle men finished in the top 20 as another freshman, Colby Coulter, took 17th place with a time of 16:11.03 while sophomore Gabe Holguin was 18th in a clocking of 16:12.03.

The remaining finishers and times for the men were: Ellis Cole (32nd, 16:46.08), Sammy Livingston (42nd, 17:09.02), Braxton Sheriff (49th, 17:34.30), Allen Ownley (60th, 18:16.06), Ted Nisbett (66th, 18:45.01).

For the Winthrop women, junior Jeanne Stroud had the best finish as she crossed the finish line in 11th place with a time of 11:54.7 in the shortened 2-mile event. Tristan Langley also finished in the top 20 with a time of  12:03.7.

The other women's finishes and times are as follows: Jessica Whitmire (24th, 12:25.04), Shayna Jenkins (31st, 12:49.00), Sarah DeVaux (45th, 13:23.01), Alexis Miller (50th, 13:45.00), Sarah Hetzel (59th, 14:35.04),

Winthrop will return to action in two weeks when it hosts the Adidas Winthrop Invitational at the Winthrop Farm course.

Buccaneers Open Season with 21st Place Finish at Eye Opener Invitational
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Charleston Southern's Tyre Hines took 27th place and was the highest finisher for the Bucs, who finished 21st as a team, in the first race of the 2012 season, Friday night's 29th annual Eye Opener Invitational at Milliken Research Park.

The Bucs were 21st in the 25-team field with Hines leading the way in the event hosted by USC Upstate. The sophomore ran a time of 28:12.

CSU sophomore Austin Crosby finished just over four minutes behind Hines, running a time of 32:14

Junior Baxley Crosley was CSU's third finisher, closing with a time of 32:24, while sophomore Michael Mashburn posted a time of 32:27.

Sophomore Derek Amick finished the race with a time of 34:20 and senior Martin Hutchens closed at 34:29.

Davidson took top honors in the men's team standings with 29 points, while Upstate earned second with 42 points. The Wildcats are ranked 11th in the Southeast Regional Rankings and had five runners finish in the top 10. Mars Hill collected third-place with 102 points, edging Spartanburg Methodist with 106. Furman came in fifth with 112 points.

Upstate senior Gilbert Kemboi won the event with a time of 25:31.

CSU returns to action on Sept. 7 at the College of Charleston Invitational.