ANDERSON, S.C. – On the heels of strong outings two weeks ago at the North Georgia Invitational, the Anderson University men's and women's cross country teams are set to compete in Friday's Royals Challenge, which will be hosted by Queens at McAlpine Creek Park.
The Trojans have made an appearance in the Queen City in eight of the last nine seasons, so the six upperclassmen on the combined rosters are familiar with McAlpine Creek Park, while the remaining 21 Trojan runners on the rosters will be competing there for the first time in their collegiate careers.
The Trojan women, who were ranked fourth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's (USTFCCCA) Southeast Regional Rankings, are coming off a second-place finish at North Georgia. Senior Abigail Bozarth led three Trojan runners that finished in the top-10, with the Simpsonville, S.C., native crossing the line in fifth place. Freshman Melea Sangl claimed seventh place, while sophomore Olivia Evans was 10th. Sophomore Olivia Rish posted a career-best time over the 6K course and claimed 14th place, with freshman Kamryn Osterbind finishing 24th.
Sophomore Hannah Beach finished 35th, with senior Allyson Malone claiming 37th place. Sophomore Lydia Gambrell finished in 42nd place, with junior Emily Olson and freshman Sara Pepper finishing 74th and 75th, respectively.
AU has finished as high as sixth (2014) at the Challenge, while Bozarth finished 56th as a sophomore in 2016. Maddie Buddenberg claimed 91st place, with Martha Coleman taking 95th place two years ago. As a newcomer, Emily Olson rounded out the Black and Gold contingent in 319th place.
The Trojan men finished 10th at the 2016 Royals Challenge, with then-freshman Luke Horne crossing the finish line in 170th place.
AU was ranked sixth in the most recent USTFCCCA) Southeast Regional Poll, after bringing home third place at the North Georgia Invitational.
Freshman Logan Horning paced the Trojans for the second consecutive outing with a ninth-place finish. Sophomore Weston Hutto claimed 12th place, with freshman Noah McLain and sophomore Phillip Quillen finishing 20th and 24th, respectively.
Sophomore Joey Teachout, freshman Thomas Sutcliffe and Horne claimed 38th, 39th and 40th place, respectively. Sophomore Cameron Owens-Hunter finished 57th, with freshman Derek Hildebrand just behind in 58th place. Sophomore David Rolon crossed the finish line in a career-best time over the 8K course and claimed 61st place, while classmate Hayden Tuten was 75th.