LU Men & Women Post Top Big South Finishes at WU Invite

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Liberty Cross Country Shines at Winthrop
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Facing most of their Big South Conference rivals on a sunny Saturday morning, the Liberty men's and women's cross country teams fared quite well at the Winthrop/Adidas Invitational. Both Liberty squads finished first among Big South teams, and Ngetich Kipchirchir was the first Big South men's individual finisher.

The opening race of the morning was the men's 8K, and a young Liberty team totaled 85 points for third place overall in the field of 27 men's teams. Kipchirchir's fifth-place overall finish paced four freshmen among the Flames' top five placers.

Louisville took the men's team title with 44 points, followed by runner-up Appalachian State's score of 72. High Point was the second-best Big South men's squad on Saturday, scoring 160 points for fifth place.

In the women's 5K, the Lady Flames came in second out of 31 teams with 70 points, thanks to an impressive team effort that saw seven Liberty runners cross the line in the top 30. That performance put them 98 tallies ahead of their nearest Big South rival, Coastal Carolina. Appalachian State won the women's team championship with 58 points.

The meet was contested at the Winthrop Coliseum and Farm, which will host to the 2012 Big South Cross Country Championships on Oct. 27.

Men's Race Recap
The first three Big South men's runners to finish on Saturday were Liberty freshmen. Kipchirchir, a redshirt freshman, led the way in fifth place in 24:46.84. Jeremie Bourget also broke the 25-minute mark, finishing ninth in a time of 24:55.99. Will Templeton followed in 13th place, stopping the clock in 25:16.18.

Junior Zach Barker cut 10 seconds off of his previous 8K personal best, clocking a 25:43.89 for 23rd place. Fittingly, it was another freshman, Sam Hibbs, who closed out the Flames' five scorers. He ran 26:04.56 for 36th place.

Nate Jones (26:12.24, 42nd place) and Jacob Onifer (26:52.29, 69th place) were Liberty's No. 6 and 7 men's runners, respectively.

Women's Race Recap
After running together in a pack through the first mile in 6:05, the Lady Flames steadily moved up through the field during the race's final two miles. Two-time defending Big South champion Jennifer Klugh led the charge. She made an impressive season debut, clocking 18:23.65 for sixth place. Fellow senior Khristina Kanagy finished right on her heels, taking seventh place in 18:24.62.

Betel Yosef and freshman Courtney Russo also finished side by side, in 18th and 19th place, respectively. Yosef's time was 18:46.86, while Russo posted an 18:47.08.

Continuing the same pattern, Meredith Mistretta and Katie Russo then placed consecutively for the Lady Flames, in 25th and 26th place. Both of them ran cross country 5K personal-best times, with Mistretta finishing in 18:52.67 and the elder Russo sister in 18:52.99.

Sophomore Jacy Christiansen was Liberty's seventh runner on the day, taking 30th place with an 18:57.04 posting. According to head coach Brant Tolsma, it was the first time in recent history that seven Lady Flames have broken the 19-minute barrier in the same cross country 5K race.

Liberty will return to action in two weeks, at the Sept. 28 Notre Dame Invitational. The first race of the day will begin at 2 p.m. at the Notre Dame Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind.

This will mark the Flames' first appearance at the Notre Dame Invitational since Sept. 28, 2007. That day, current Liberty assistant coaches Josh McDougal and Rebekah Ricksecker both competed, with McDougal winning the men's blue race title.

HPU Women's Cross Country Places Seventh at Winthrop Invitational
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Senior Kelsey Hunt placed 12th overall to lead the High Point University women's cross country team to a seventh-place finish at the adidas/Winthrop Invitational on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C. Sophomore Lauren Blackwell was the second Panther across the line in 21st place.

Hunt finished the 5,000-meter course in 18:28.96 and Blackwell came in 21st at 18:49.90. Junior Audrey Malloy placed 44th in 19:15.60 and freshman Erika Peoples placed 66th in 19:37.05. Junior Colleen Hollowood was the Panthers' final scorer in 76th overall with a time of 19:48.50.

Freshman Katie Farina placed 83rd overall with a time of 19:56.54 and freshman Julia Zautcke placed 123rd in a time of 20:42.40.

High Point also had seven runners competing unattached led by junior Kayleigh Perry, who playced 36th overall with a time of 19:03.97. Sophomore Sarah Dorrell placed 80th in 19:52.60 and senior Kelsey Paine took 92nd with a time of 20:03.78.

Appalachian State was the team champion with 58 points followed by Liberty (70), Coastal Carolina (168), Wofford (169) and UNC Asheville (180). Davidson placed sixth (201) followed by High Point (207) and Winthrop (219). Other Big South teams competing were Campbell in 10th, Radofrd in 18th, Gardner-Webb in 20th and Presbyterian in 28th.

The race was run on the same course as the Big South Championship on Oct. 27. Next up, the Panthers compete in the Charlotte Invitational at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 28. It's the same course the NCAA Southeast Regional will be run on in November.

High Point Men's Cross Country Takes Fifth at Adidas/Winthrop Invitational
ROCK HILL, S.C. --  The High Point University men's cross country team placed fifth out of 27 teams at the adidas/Winthrop Invitational on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C. Junior Patrick Crawford led the Panthers with a 14th-place finish and sophomore Reece Ayers took 31st out of 220 runners.

Crawford's 14th-place finish came in a time of 25:18.12 followed by Ayers in 31st with a time of 25:53.43. Grandinali placed 43th in 26:01.13 and Seymour placed 40th in 26:11.54. Sophomore Chris Colo was High Point's fifth finisher in 49th overall with a time of 26:23.32.

Junior John Yankello was High Point's sixth finisher in 54th place with a time of 26:33.23 followed by freshmen Ben Robinson (56th, 26:38.23), Kevin Maguire (26:41.98) and Eddie Whitlock (27:05.87). Freshmen Zach Hostetler and Kevin Kreider placed 93rd and 102nd, respectively, and senior Dakota Peachee placed 116th.

Jacob Smith, Jeff LaCoste and Benji Szalai did not compete for HPU on Saturday.

Louisville won the team race with 44 points followed by Appalachian State (72) and Liberty (85). Western Carolina placed fourth with 125 points followed by High Point (160) and USC Upstate (182). Other Big South schools in the race were Campbell (seventh), Winthrop (ninth), Radford (10th), UNC Asheville (11th), Coastal Carolina (12th), Gardner-Webb (18th), Charleston Southern (20th) and Presbyterian (23rd).

The 8,000-meter course will be used for the Big South Championship on Oct. 27. Next up, the Panthers compete in the Charlotte Invitational at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 28. It's the same course the NCAA Southeast Regional will be run on in November.

Sawyer's Season Best Time Leads Runnin' Bulldogs at Winthrop Invitational
Rock Hill, S.C. - The Runnin' Bulldogs competed at the prestigious Winthrop Invitational on Saturday, competing among 31 collegiate cross country teams at the Invitational hosted by Winthrop University.

Gardner-Webb's women's cross country team achieved a 20th place finish out of the 31 women's teams participating Saturday.

Senior Elisabeth Sawyer (Charlotte, N.C.) led the team for the third consecutive week, as her time of 19:37.00 netted her the 65th best time in the 251 person event. Senior Ariel Zimmerman (Williambsburg, Va.) picked up GWU's second fastest time in the women's 5K race, finishing with a time of 20:44.93.

Fellow senior Megan Frost (Crofton, Md.) finished with the third fastest GWU time of the day after racing to a time of 21:32.35.

Junior Katie Spiro (Sylva, N.C.) and senior Leah Steinke (Green Cove Springs, N.C.) wrapped up GWU's top five in the women's 5K, finishing at 21:35.42 and 21:27.62 respectively.

The Gardner-Webb men finished with 542 points on the day thanks to its top five finishers, good enough for the 18th best team finish out of the 27 teams competing Saturday.

Sophomore Mike McClay (Lawrenceville, Ga.) led the Runnin' Bulldogs, finishing with a time of 27:27.14 in the 8K race. McClay's time cracked the top 100 of the star-studded field, as the sophomore's time ranked 89th in the event.

Senior Josiah Stanton-Brooks (Seattle, Wash.) picked up the second fastest GWU time of the day at 28:08.82. Trey Crook (Lexington, N.C.) was third for the Runnin' Bulldogs, as the sophomore crossed the finish line at 28:28.38.

Junior Justin Loy (Burrington, N.H.) was fourth fastest for Gardner-Webb, completing the 8K in 29:22.62. Fellow junior Drew Ford (Wasilla, Alaska) wrapped up GWU's top five performers, coming in at 30:02.25.

The Runnin' Bulldogs cross country teams will return to the course September 29 after taking a week off from meet action. Gardner-Webb is back in action for the Charlotte Cross Country Invitational Saturday, Sep. 29.

Lesieur Improves To Lead Blue Hose At Winthrop
ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Presbyterian College women's cross country team finished 28th at the Adidas/Winthrop Invitational on Saturday morning. Sophomore Gabriele Lesieur led the Blue Hose again, running her fastest time of the season.

Lesieur (Augusta, Ga.) led the Blue Hose with a time of 20:45, a six-second improvement since running 20:51 at South Carolina. Coincidentally, Lesieur also ran six seconds faster than the program's record on the Winthrop course (20:51), established in 2007 by Lauren Bowers.

Freshman Hayley McCoy (Chapin, S.C.) finished second for PC, crossing the line in 22:27. Sophomore Jennifer Lockman (Woodruff, S.C.) finished just behind at 22:48. Freshman Abby Waldron (Clinton, S.C.) improved nearly 30 seconds, running 25:38, to claim fourth for the Blue Hose. Sophomore Grace Lifer (Hilton Head, S.C.) rounded out the scoring five, running 26:02.

Winthrop hosted 31 women's schools as well as 27 men's, including four nationally ranked teams and a total of nine Big South Conference schools on the same course that will host the 2012 Big South Championships on Oct. 27.

Appalachian State won the women's title with a low score of 58 points. The Mountaineers' Amanda Hamilton and Allison Cook took first and second place with times of 18:10 and 18:13. Liberty finished at a close second with 70 points. Coastal Carolina (168) finished third, Wofford (169) fourth, and UNC-Asheville (180) fifth.  Davidson (201), High Point (207), Winthrop (219), Western Carolina (244), and Campbell (246) rounded out the top-10.

The Blue Hose will return to run in the Charlotte Invitational on Friday, September 28.

Wasilewski Leads Blue Hose At Winthrop Invitational
ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Presbyterian College men's cross country team finished 23rd at the Adidas/Winthrop Invitational on Saturday morning. Junior Ryan Wasilewski led the Blue Hose for the first time in his career.

Wasilewski (Easley, S.C.) led the Blue Hose with an 8k time of 30:27. Close behind, a trio of runners finished within a 12-second span. Freshman Heath Owen (Columbia, S.C.) finished strong in 30:40, freshman Reid McCandless (Fort Mill, S.C.) crossed the line in 30:47, and junior Seth Warner (Fort Mill, S.C.) ran 30:52. Senior Brian Trail (Marion, S.C.) finished fifth for the team, stopping the clock in 31:57. In sixth for PC, sophomore JJ Carruth (Landrum, S.C.) ran 32:26.

Winthrop hosted 27 men's schools as well as 31 women's,  including four nationally ranked teams and a total of nine Big South Conference schools on the same course that will host the 2012 Big South Championships on Oct. 27.

Louisville placed five runners in the top-20 to claim the team title with 44 points.  The Cardinal's Ernest Kibet, a freshman, edged Upstate's Gilbert Kemboi, a senior, to win individual honors by a second, 24:13 to 24:14. Appalachian State (72) finished second, Liberty (85) third, Western Carolina (125) fourth, and High Point (160) fifth.  Upstate (182), Campbell (202), Mount Olive (220), Winthrop (265), and Radford (271) rounded out the top-ten.

The Blue Hose will return to run in the Charlotte Invitational on Friday, September 28.

Longwood Women Place Third at JMU Open
NEW MARKET, Va. -- Longwood University posted 96 points to place third among six teams at the JMU Open Invitational women's cross country race Saturday at the New Market Battlefield near Harrisonburg.  Host James Madison University won the team title with 23 points, and the Dukes' Katie Gorman was the individual race winner with her time of 18:56, while the Lancers were led by junior Alisha Royal|Vinton (William Byrd) with her time of 19:48 over the 5K course to place seventh among 57 competitors.  Longwood will next compete at the Great American Cross Country Festival on September 28 at the WakeMed Soccer Complex in Cary, North Carolina beginning at 3:30 p.m.
   
Royal was followed across the finish line by junior Crystal Baxley|Virginia Beach (First Colonial) (21:50, 24th), sophomores Brittany Foote|Goshen, N.Y. (Goshen) (22:22, 30th) and Elisabeth Drake|Hayes (Gloucester) (22:35, 31st), along with seniors Rebecca Denny|Virginia Beach (Kempsville) (23:23, 38th), Jenna Sprinkle|Buchanan (James River) (23:58, 43rd) and Megan Short|Sicklerville, N.J. (Timber Creek) (24:09, 44th).
   
JMU was followed by VMI (52), Longwood, Southern Virginia (113), Howard (131) and Mary Baldwin (134).

Longwood Men Place Third at JMU Open
NEW MARKET, Va. -- Longwood University posted 75 points to place third among four teams at the JMU Open Invitational men's cross country race Saturday at the New Market Battlefield near Harrisonburg.  Virginia Military Institute won the team title with 20 points, and unattached runner (LU assistant coach) Richard Morris was the individual race winner with his time of 25:45, while the Lancers were led by freshman Seth Taylor|Chesapeake (Grassfield) with his time of 26:53 over the 8K course to place 11th among 38 competitors.  Longwood will next compete at the Great American Cross Country Festival on September 28 at the WakeMed Soccer Complex in Cary, North Carolina beginning at 3:30 p.m.
   
Taylor was followed across the finish line by senior Sean Flynn|Goodview (Roanoke Catholic) (27:07, 16th), freshman Adam Link|Williamsburg (Walsingham Academy) (27:25, 20th), sophomores Russell Reed|Onemo (Mathews) (27:31, 22nd), Trey Thomas|Stafford (Mountain View) (28:07, 25th) and Nick Reed|Fairfax (Robinson) (28:14, 26th), along with junior Kyle Moller|Gainesville (Battlefield) (30:12, 31st).  Taylor, Link, Russell Reed and Nick Reed each ran collegiate-best times for the distance.
   
VMI was followed by Howard (46), Longwood and Southern Virginia (108).

Winthrop Men, Women Run Well at Home Meet
ROCK HILL, SC--Winthrop junior Jeanne Stroud and sophomore Tristan Langley had top 10 finishes to lead the Eagle women to an eighth place finish while Gabe Holguin led the men's squad to ninth place in the 2012 adidas/Winthrop Cross Country Invitational which was held Saturday on the Winthrop Farm Course.

The meet attracted 31 women's teams and 27 men's squads, including four nationally ranked teams and a total of nine Big South Conference schools on the same course that will host the 2012 Big South Championships on Oct. 27.

Stroud (Charleston, SC) finished fourth with a time of 18:18.55 in the 5K race while Langley (Belmont, Nova Scotia) was eighth with a clocking of 18:25.02.  As a team, the women compiled 219 points.  Appalachian State claimed the team title with 58 points.

Holguin (Panama City, FL) who is returning from a injury red-shirt year, finished 28th in the men's 8K with a time of 25:46.76.  Louisville won the team title with 44 points as the Cardinals had three top 10 finishers led by individual champion Ernest Kibet who covered the distance in 24.13.17 to nose out Gilbert Kemboi of USC Upstate by just over one second.

The meet also doubles as the South Carolina Intercollegiate Championship.  Winthrop finished second in both the women's and men's standings.  Coastal Carolina took the men's team title while  USC Upstate claimed the women's crown.

Lady Bucs Take 13th at Winthrop Invitational
ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Charleston Southern Lady Bucs took 13th overall in the 31-team field at the 2012 Winthrop Invitational run Saturday morning at Winthrop Farm.

Appalachian State took the women's team title, followed by Liberty, Coastal Carolina, Wofford, and UNC Asheville to round out the top five. CSU finished one spot behind College of Charleston and two spots behind Louisville at the meet.

Senior Adrienne Cuff, the reigning Big South Runner of the Week, finished 20th in the event to lead the Lady Bucs. She ran a time of 18:47, less than a minute off of the pace set by winner, Jemeli Sang of USC Upstate, who ran unattached.

Freshman Jessie Dotson was CSU's second finisher, taking 60th with a time of 19:29, while senior Susanna McKee was 104th after finishing the course in 20:14.

Senior Heidi Dean was another CSU finisher just after the 20-minute mark, closing the course in 20:17, three second behind McKee. Junior Hannah Burkholder finished eight seconds behind her at 20:25 for CSU's final  score.

Junior Mary Davidson finished 137th at 20:58, while senior Eloise Paredes was 145th after a 21:11.

The Bucs run again on Sept. 29th at the UNC Asheville Invitational in Asheville, N.C.

Bucs Finish 20th at Winthrop Invitational
ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Charleston Southern Buccaneers took 20th overall at the 2012 Winthrop Invitational run Saturday morning at Winthrop Farm.

The Bucs finished with a 627 total points in a 27-team field which included Louisville, Appalachian State, Liberty, Western Carolina, and High Point, which comprised the top five teams, respectively.

Sophomore Tyre Hines was the top finisher for the Bucs, taking 67th in the event with a time of 26:51.

Junior Baxley Crosby placed 148th at Winthrop Farm with a time of 29:19, while sophomore Michael Marshburn ran a time of 30 minutes even and finished 162nd.

Junior Martin Hitchens was 188th with a time of 31:49, while Derek Amick was CSU's five counted runner and was 199th after a 33:34 race time.

Louisville's Ernest Kibet won the event with a time of 24:13, one second ahead of USC Upstate's Gilbert Kemboi.

The Bucs run again on Sept. 29th at the UNC Asheville Invitational in Asheville, N.C.