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The Pine Needle
The Pine Needle
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Cross Country Runs Well at Royal

Cross Country Runs Well at Royal

By Catherine George, Assistant Sports Editor Photo Courtesy of UNCP Sports Information

Both men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to McAlpine Creek Park for the Royals Cross Country Challenge hosted by Queens Oct. 11.


The men’s team ruled the 8k with all top five runners placing in the top 30 positions.

Out of the 25 non-division one teams, the Braves claimed an outstanding second place with a low 97 points, 15 points better than third place Mars Hill.

Taking home first place for the second weekend in a row was Tennessee Weslyan with 39 points.

Junior Tim Sigmon led the Braves shedding nine seconds off of his personal best time, taking 15th place with a time of 25:24.0.

Returners Joel Johnston (26:07.0) and Wilson Pearson (26:12.1) both got season best times, finishing 22nd and 23rd place respectively.

Junior Nebiyou Aynu ran a time of 26:33.7 placing 27th, while Matt Reith, only two places behind Aynu, crossed the finish line with a season best time of 26:37.2.

Another personal best time was recorded by freshman A.J Sayers-O’Neill with a time of 26:50.5, taking 35th place and dropping 15 seconds.

Tyler Moore finished the race with a time of 26:55.9 for a 37th place finish.

Freshman Nate Nash crossed the finish line with a 52nd place finish and a time of 27:42.3.

Rounding out the finishers for the Black and Gold were freshman Nathan Pollard (102nd, 28:48.6) and junior Andrew Nguyen (122nd, 29:32.6).

The Lady Braves took home seventh place out of the 27 non-division one teams with 215 points.


Only two NCAA Division two teams placed in front of the Lady Braves: Mars Hill and Anderson.

Sophomore Olivia Lowman led the women while knocking 21 seconds off her personal best 5k time and claimed 23rd place with a time of 19:35.4.

The second finisher for the Black and Gold was sophomore Lea Tardanico running a season’s best time 19:51.2 with 34th place.

Junior Kyndal Boykin crossed the finish line in 20:08.0 and 42nd place.

Only 13 seconds behind Boykin was senior Kendra Dorn (53rd, 20:21.7).

Rounding out the top five finishers for the Lady Braves was junior Savannah Fornshell, finishing her first 5k of the season in a time of 20:46.8 and placing 77th.

Newcomer Kellie Chapman got a new personal best time of 20:54.3 with a 83rd place finish. Also logging a new personal best time was senior Brittany McGilberry (113th, 21:47.8).

The Braves will be traveling to Hardeeville, S.C., to compete in the Sand Shark Invitational on Oct. 25.

This will be the Black and Gold’s last regular season race before the conference championships.

Photo courtesy of UNCP Sports Information. Olivia Lowman runs down the trail in the Charlotte Invitational earlier this season.