ANDERSON, S.C. – After earning the runner-up spot at the South Atlantic Conference Championships two weeks ago, the Anderson men's cross country team is set for a return to the Tar Heel State on Saturday for the NCAA Southeast Region Championships, which will be hosted by Wingate on the Bulldogs' campus.
With fifth-place finish a year ago and a fourth-place showing two seasons ago, the Trojans have narrowly missed out on earning the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA National Championships in back-to-back years.
The championships start at 9 a.m. with the women's 6k race and will be followed at 10:15 a.m. by the men's 10k. The course was also the site of the 2017 NCAA Southeast Region Championships.
The top three teams from the regional meet will automatically advance to the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, in Sacramento, Calif. The top five individuals who are not part of a qualifying team will also automatically advance to the championship and the next eight individuals will be selected at-large.
The Trojans, who were ranked sixth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) DII Regional Rankings, will contend with regionally top-ranked and nationally No. 15-ranked Mount Olive, along with 18th-ranked Queens, which claimed its third consecutive South Atlantic Conference Championship two weeks ago.
With four Trojans finishing in the top-25 and paced by senior Ty Gleason's 12th-place finish two weeks ago, AU claimed second place at the SAC Championships.
Gleason earned Second-Team All-SAC honors, with junior Ben Clark also garnering all-conference accolades by finishing 17th. Freshman Daniel Similton claimed 18th place and captured a spot on both the SAC Honorable Mention squad and the All-Freshman Team.
Sophomore Thomas Sutcliffe finished in the 23rd spot, with juniors Matthew Burgess and Philip Quillen finishing 30th and 34th, respectively. Sophomore Noah McLain was just behind in 35th place, while the freshman duo of Noah Brock and Nicolas Danielski were 41st and 42nd, respectively. Junior Hayden Tuten crossed the finish line in 63rd.
Queens is the defending region champion, while Mount Olive claimed second place a year ago. Augusta took home third place for the second consecutive year, with UNC Pembroke just in front of the Trojans.