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CHARLOTTE, NC - The Montreat College cross country teams competed in the Queens University Royals XC Challenge on Friday in Charlotte, NC. Despite wet conditions courtesy of Hurricane Matthew, both teams were able to put forth some strong efforts.

The men's team was shorthanded due to illness keeping a handful of runners on the sidelines but those who did compete gave tremendous effort in helping the Cavaliers earn a 14th place team finish out of 39 full teams in the event, which was comprised of teams from all levels of collegiate competition. Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) had a breakout day on the McAlpine Park course, placing 38th overall out of 365 compeititors with a personal-best time of 25:41.1. Lancaster's effort was the second-best time among a large field of Appalachian Athletic Conference runners, behind only defending cross country champion Tyler Boone of Bryan College. Darius Futrell (FR/Richlands, NC) was the second finisher for the Cavaliers, placing 94th with a time of 26:25.0. Rylan Hincher (SO/North Wilkesboro, NC) also earned a top-100 finish in the large field joining Lancaster and Futrell with a new personal best time (26:29.1). Brandon Welborn (JR/Traphill, NC) also earned a new personal best time of 27:11.0 while teammate Holden Dixon (SO/Chocowinity, NC) was not far behind in 27:30.0. Jacob Parker (FR/Elkin, NC) finished in 27:45.4 while Daniel Lancaster (JR/Wilmington, NC) battled illness to complete the course in 28:48.4. Daniel Newcomb (SO/Candler, NC) broke the 30-minute barrier for the fist time, finishing in 29:34.0 while Eli Hall (SO/Columbus, NC) rounded out the effort with a time of 30:29.7. The 14th place finish by Montreat was the second-highest finish amongst NAIA schools and was the top team finish of the six AAC school in attendance.

The women also ran short-handed as several members of the team were held out as they recover from injury and illness. Kelly Norton (FR/Murray, KY) led the way as the freshman finished the 5k course in 20:57.5. Alona Kosenko (JR/Charlotte, NC) finished close behind with a new personal best time of 21:08.4. MiKayla Poulter (JR/Hickory, NC) also got a new personal best as she finished with a time of 22:04.3. Samantha Gaskill (JR/Wilmington, NC) made her season debut and the senior finished the race with a time of 22:30.8. Abigail Chevalier (JR/Swanton, VT) crossed the finish line with a time of 26:42.0 but her time was considerably affected as she stopped to aid an injured competitior roughly two miles into the race. The team finished 3rd out of 40 full teams competing.

"I was really pleased with the effort today from both teams," said head coach Jason Lewkowicz. "The guys were excited to get back to racing in a big environment after running in Louisville last weekend and I thought they responded really well. There were multiple personal-best times today and these folks know that they can still get faster so that is exciting. Despite all of the success we had today with the races, it is the character this team showed that impressed me the most. I challenged them all to find a way to share the love of Christ with someone today and that was represented so well by Abbey, who sacrificed what would have been a lifetime best time to help an injured compeititor. She stopped her race and stayed with the young lady until help arrived and then continued on to the finish line to help out her team. It is a heart like that that makes this team a true champion, regardless of the outcome of our race."

The cross country teams will be back in action on Saturday, October 21st when they compete in the USC-Beaufort Sandshark Invitational, in what will be their final tune-up before the 2016 Appalachian Athletic Conference XC Championships, which take place Saturday, November 5 on the Montreat College Black Mountain campus.



LOUISVILE, KY - The Montreat College cross country team traveled to Louisville, KY to take part in the 2016 Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville, KY on Saturday.

Competing in the Blue division, (second of three divisions) the Montreat men gave a strong performance, finishing 20th out of 41 full teams that spanned all levels of collegiate athletics. The Cavaliers were 8th out of 15 NAIA schools, finishing behind four nationally ranked teams while placing ahead of Dalton State and The University of the Cumberlands, two teams that received votes in the latest national poll. The team ran tightly as a pack with the 1-5 split being only 74 seconds. In a race that featured 358 runners from 45 schools, Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) led the way, placing 64th overall with a season-best time of 26:29 on the 8k course. Darius Futrell (FR/Richlands, NC) finished 121st with a time of 27:12 while teammate Rylan Hincher (SO/North Wilkesboro, NC) was close behind in 27:18, which was good for 129th place. Frank Bartholow (FR/Lexington, NC) finished 150th in 27:28 while Daniel Lancaster (JR/Wilmington, NC) rounded out the top-five by placing 171st with a time of 27:43. Jacob Parker (FR/Elkin, NC) (177th - 27:48), Brandon Welborn (JR/Traphill, NC) (192nd - 27:56), Holden Dixon (SO/Chocowinity, NC) (203rd - 28:25), Clay Yeaton (FR/Batesville, IN) (214th - 28:38) and Daniel Newcomb (SO/Enka, NC) (276th - 30:07) rounded out the effort for the men.

The women, running shorthanded without four of their runners, came through with some strong performances nonetheless. Isabel Salinas (FR/Resaca, GA) led the team against a field of 406 runners, placing 216th in a time of 20:47 for the 5k course. Kelly Norton (FR/Murray, KY) placed 281st (21:27) while Alona Konsenko placed 307th in a time of 21:47. Madeline Sides (FR/Denver, NC) placed 328th in 22;23 while MiKayla Poulter (JR/Hickory, NC) set a huge personal best of 22:36. Abigail Chevalier (JR/Swanton, VT) rounded out the effort for the team running 24:41.

Both teams will be back in action on Friday, October 7th when they travel to McAlpine Park in Charlotte, NC for the Queen's University Royals XC Challenge. The men will race at 4:30pm with the women running at 5:15pm.

ASHVEILLE, NC - Montreat College cross country student-athlete Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) was named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Men's Runner of the Week on Monday.

The junior led the way for the Cavaliers this past weekend, taking 11th overall in a field of primarily NCAA Division I runners at the UNC-Asheville Distance Carnival. Lancaster's time of 27:24 was the second-fastest among non-Division I runners. This was the second consecutive strong finish for Lancaster, who was the runner-up at the Montreat College Hyder-McMahill Inivtational back on September 3rd.

You can read the release from the AAC HERE

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