CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Using a 68th-place finish by senior Ty Gleason, the Anderson men's cross country team finished 14th at the Queens University of Charlotte's Royals Challenge, Friday afternoon at McAlpine Creek Park.
Nearly 60 teams from across the Southeast competed on the men's side, including eight NCAA Division I squads and eight of the 12 schools that currently comprise the South Atlantic Conference.
Lee University outdistanced Mount Olive to win the team title, with Queens claiming third place. Charleston (WV) took fourth place, while Malone, Furman and St. Leo were fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Davis & Elkins was eighth and UNC Pembroke finished ninth, alongside Cedarville.
Florida Southern, Catawba and Wingate rounded out the 13 teams in front of AU, with the Trojans outpacing Radford (16th), UNC Wilmington (19th), Lenoir-Rhyne (20th), Elon (21st), Charlotte (22nd), Wofford (23rd), Carson-Newman (29th), Mercer (32nd), North Greenville (35th), Erskine (46th) and Gardner-Webb (49th).
"Our men got off to a really slow start from the gun, but finished strong," said Anderson head coach Kevin Eagle. "At 1 ½ miles into the race, we were sitting in 25th. We ended up being 14th overall. The early mistake really killed us, but I'm proud of how the guys responded and closed hard. They simply ran out of real estate to catch the teams right in front of us in the final standings
Competing on the same course as at the Queen City Invite two weeks ago, but with temperatures 15 degrees cooler than the wilting heat of late September in the Carolinas, Gleason navigated the 8K course in a time of 25:30.7, while freshman Daniel Similton finished 110th in a personal-best time of 25:59.6.
Sophomore Noah McLain (26:04.5) and junior Ben Clark (26:10.2) were 116th and 123rd, respectively, with sophomore Thomas Sutcliffe (26:10.3) just behind in the 124th slot. McLain's effort over the distance was a personal-best.
Freshman Noah Brock crossed the finish line in 138th place in a personal-best time of 26:16.9, with fellow freshman Michael Burgess claiming 148th place in a personal-best time of 26:23.3. Junior Philip Quillen was 199th in a time of 26:48.6, while junior Matthew Burgess (27:17.0) and freshman Nicolas Danielski were 252nd and 265th, respectively, with Danielski posting his career-best effort.
Junior Hayden Tuten crossed the finish line in 328th place in a time of 28:06.7 and classmate David Rolon claimed 354th in a time of 28:30.7. Sophomore Brandon Wilson was 368th in a time of 28:37.3 among the 519 runners who completed the course.
"We had several PRs across the board for the men's and women's teams, which is encouraging as we get closer to our championship season. While other teams are slowing down, we are just getting started," added Eagle.
Following a two-week layoff, Anderson will get back in action on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the South Atlantic Conference Championships in Wingate, N.C.