UTC Cross Country Teams At SoCon Championships Saturday
Friday, October 27, 2017
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men’s and women’s cross country teams will travel to Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday morning for the Southern Conference Championships at the Milliken Research Center.
The Mocs will travel nine women and eight men for the championships. Emily Poole along with Nicole Buehrle and Hannah Caldwell have led the Mocs this season. Poole has finished in the Top 25 in all four races and has two Top Five finishes.
Poole ranks in the Top 20 of the Southern Conference in the 5000 meter with a time of 17:59 at the Greater Louisville Classic at the end of September.
Caldwell and Buehrle along with Sophia Neglia and Haley Morris each clocked times under 20 minutes at the season opening Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic.
On the men’s side, John Payne has been a steady presence for the Mocs crossing the finish line first three times. Ryan Gebelein and Nathan Watson have provided consistency for the Mocs. Payne’s top time this season was 25:59 at the Greater Louisville Classic while Gebelein, who was the top Chattanooga runner at the Louisville meet, posted a season-high 25:47 on the 8-kilometer course.
Furman will look to continue its reign as the SoCon defending champions. The Paladin men and women, who were both selected as preseason favorites by the league’s coaches, have won the past four SoCon Championships and both teams have placed inside the top 10 in all six events in which they have competed this year.
On the men’s side, the Paladins boast the top 11 times at the 8k distance, with Aaron Templeton leading the way with a time of 23:40.07 at the Greater Louisville Classic. Templeton, along with teammates Tanner Hinkle, Quintin McKinnish and Josh Brickell, have all been named SoCon Runner of the Week at least once this season. Furman also returns reigning SoCon Runner of the Year Frank Lara, who won the individual title at the 2016 SoCon Championship with a time of 23:16.44.
Samford’s Arsène Guillorel will challenge the Paladin runners, having placed in the top five in the past two SoCon Championships, including an individual title at the 2015 championship. The senior’s fastest time this year came on Oct. 13 at the Crimson Classic, when Guillorel stopped the clock at 24:43.02.
In the women’s race, Samford’s Karisa Nelson, who won the individual title in last year’s championship, is the fastest returner from the 2016 SoCon Championship. Nelson ran a personal best at last year’s championship, stopping the clock at 16:22.62 to secure her second consecutive top-10 finish at the SoCon Championship. Furman’s Allie Buchalski holds the fastest time in the 5k distance this season, finishing in 16:42.19 at the Greater Louisville Classic in September. The Paladins hold three of the top five fastest times this season at that distance and have claimed five of the seven runner of the week awards this season.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. with the women’s 5-kilometer race followed by the men’s 8K at 10:45 a.m. An awards ceremony to honor the top teams and individual performances will follow the conclusion of the men’s race. Live scoring is available at GoMocs.com.