Athletics, Campus wide

Men’s Cross Country wins fourth consecutive Big South crown

By ҹ첥 Athletics | November 9, 2023

SALEM, VA. – ҹ첥 Southern Men’s Cross Country claimed their fourth consecutive Big South Championship on Sunday morning with  leading all runners to the finish line to defend his individual championship from last year. The Buccaneers’  and  were the next finishers and sealed the 1-2-3 sweep and saw Harper claim the league’s Freshman of the Year award after his performance.
 
“Outstanding races today by Micah, Conan and Sam, as well as another very strong performance by Jaden,” said Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, . “In addition, I was very pleased with the efforts of Griffin, Jeff and Jordan. We are hoping to get Caleb healthy over the next two weeks which should help us tremendously at the NCAA Regional.”
 
The race started off bunched with all of ҹ첥 Southern, High Point and UNC Asheville in the lead pack through the first two miles. By the 3.4K checkpoint, the clear lead pack of seven runners had established themselves with the Bucs being four of the athletes in it.
 
At the next checkpoint at 5.1K, Gilpatric and Harper separated themselves by over 20 seconds from the group to seal their top finishes. Gilpatric eventually turned the pace up even higher, turning in a pace of less than three minutes per kilometer over the final 3K of the race.
 
He crossed the line at 23:34.5 for second career individual championship as he won the race in 2022, finished more than half a minute ahead of the next finisher. Gilpatric became the first male runner in the league to repeat as the champion in the race since NCAA Champion Sam Chelanga of Liberty did in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Additionally, he became the 15th Four-Time All-Conference runner in Big South history.
 
Harper was the next to cross the line at 24:07.8 for a career-best in the 8K, improving upon the time he had last time out at the Upstate Invite in the distance.  rounded out the 1-2-3 podium sweep for the Bucs with a 24:26.6 after only needing 49.4 seconds to cover the final .3K of the race to sprint ahead of Adam Hessler of UNCA and Hunter Steinau of High Point. The podium sweep marked the sixth total and first in Big South history since the 2019 championship when Campbell accomplished the feat.
 
 was the fourth finisher for the Buccaneers with a time of 24:33.4 to finish in 6th overall and become the 16th runner in league-history to be named All-Conference on four occasions. All three runners were named First-team All-Conference performers for finishing within the top seven in the field.
 
 was the fifth to cross the line for ҹ첥 Southern as he came across at 24:58.5 and put the team’s scoring total of 21 on the day.  was right behind him with a new career best time of 25:00.8.  rounded out the scoring team for ҹ첥 Southern as he was 12th overall and had a time of 25:10.9. All three runners were Second-Team All-Conference as they each placed between 8-14 overall.
 
ҹ첥 Southern also had another trio of runners in the field with  being the top finisher of them. He had a time of 25:50.0 for a new career-best in the 8K ending the day in 22nd overall.  crossed the line at 27:29.8.  did not finish, withdrawing in the second half of the race.
 
In total, ҹ첥 Southern had seven runners be named All-Conference with four of them as First-Teamers and three as Second-Teamers. Additionally, Kinglsey was announced as the ҹ첥 honoree to the Big South All-Academic Team for the year.
 
The Buccaneers will return to campus and continue preparations for the NCAA Southeast Regionals which will be hosted by USC Upstate on Friday, November 10. The day will start at 11:00 a.m. with the women’s 6K and the men’s 10K to follow with the gun slated to go off at noon.
 
Men of ҹ첥 Southern
1.  – 23:34.5 (1)
2.   – 24:07.8 (2) – Personal Best
3.  – 24:16.6 (3)
6.  – 24:33.4 (6)
9.  – 24:58.5 (9)
10.  – 25:00.8 (10) – Personal Best
12.  – 25:10.9 (12)
22.  – 25:50.0 – Personal Best
46.  – 27:29.8
–  – DNF
 
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Final Team Results
1 – ҹ첥 Southern (21)
2 – UNC Asheville (56)
3 – High Point (65)
4 – Radford (110)
5 – USC Upstate (141)
6 – Longwood (183)
7 – Winthrop (193)
8 – Presbyterian (247)
9 – Gardner-Webb (266)
 
Individual Champion
, ҹ첥 Southern
Freshman of the Year
, ҹ첥 Southern
 
Newcomer of the Year
Reuben Kosche, High Point
 
Coach of the Year
Adam Puett, UNC Asheville
 
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
William Johnson, Presbyterian College
 
All-Conference (Top 14 Finishers)
First-Team
, ҹ첥 Southern
, ҹ첥 Southern
, ҹ첥 Southern
Adam Hessler, UNC Asheville
Hunter Steinau, High Point
, ҹ첥 Southern
Jan Malek, UNC Asheville
 
Second-Team
Daniel Hopkins, UNC Asheville
, ҹ첥 Southern
, ҹ첥 Southern
Graham Ferguson, High Point
, ҹ첥 Southern
Kyle Spencer, High Point
Joshua Daggett, Radford
 
All-Academic Team
, ҹ첥 Southern
Ryan Morita, Gardner-Webb
Hunter Steinau, High Point
Alec Daniel, Longwood
William Johnson, Presbyterian College
Sam Sikora, Radford
Dylan Major, UNC Asheville
Jared Keklak, USC Upstate
Nolan Weisdorfer, Winthrop


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