CHARLOTTE --- The Tusculum College cross country team will compete at 2012 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional, this Saturday morning at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C. The regional is being hosted by Queens University of Charlotte.
The men's 10K portion of the regional is slated to get underway at 10 a.m. The women's 6K is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Tickets are just $2 for adults and students. The regional will be free for those 10-and-under.
The Pioneers are searching for their first-ever spot in the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship in the Southeast Regional. The national championship meet will be held in Joplin, Mo. on Saturday, Nov. 17. Missouri Southern is hosting the national championship event.
The TC men’s team has won two of its last four events, while the women’s squad has posted top-four finishes in three of its final four meets. The men’s team finished seventh at last month’s Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championship, while the TC women finished ninth.
The men’s team is led 2012 All-SAC first team runner David Cooper. The Greeneville, Tenn. sophomore has finished fourth or better in his last five meets, including first place honors at the Warren Wilson Invitational and the Maryville Invitational. He recorded a fourth place finish at the SAC Championship, which was held on the Greeneville campus. Cooper becomes only the third runner in program history to garner All-SAC first team accolades. The Chuckey-Doak High School graduate is also a 4.0 honor student and is a two-time SAC Runner of the Week.
Freshman Lawson Burrow has enjoyed a fine rookie campaign this fall. The Chuckey-Doak HS alum has recorded three top-10 finishes, including runner-up honors at the Maryville Invitational. He also finished 25th at the SAC Championship, third at the Warren Wilson Invitational and recorded a season-best time of 28:01 at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational where he finished 12th.
Sophomore Zachary Simpson (Clinton, Tenn./Clinton HS) has made tremendous strides from a last season and has finished 13th or better in three events, including a fifth place showing at Warren Wilson. He also posted a season-best time of 29:40 at the Carson-Newman Challenge and 53rd at the SAC Championship.
Sophomore Kekona Soon (Knoxville, Tenn./Halls HS) has recorded four top-25 finishes in his second Tusculum season, including ninth at the Warren Wilson Invitational. Soon finished 11th at Maryville and recorded a collegiate-best time of 29:28 at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational.
Senior Elijah Minter is wrapping up his collegiate running career as the Spring City, Tenn. product has competed in all seven events this fall, including three finishes in the top-30. Minter placed 13th at the Warren Wilson meet, 15th at Maryville and 29th at Carson-Newman.
Greeneville sophomore George Blalock has competed in five events this year so far, including a 23rd place finish at Warren Wilson. The Greeneville High School graduate also finished 34th at The Citadel Invitational.
Bernabei, a native of Crossville, Tenn., has been Tusculum’s top performer in four of its seven events this fall, including her 31st place finish at the conference championship and earning a spot on the SAC All-Freshman Team. The Cumberland County High School product has finished in the top-20 in five of her last six meets, including third place honors at the Warren Wilson Invitational and a fifth place finish at Maryville. She has posted a season-best 5K time of 21:31 on two occasions at The Citadel Invitational, where she finished 15th and at Lenoir-Rhyne to place 17th.
Bible, a local standout who ran at Greeneville HS, emerged as TC’s top runner in three events this fall. She finished runner-up at the Warren Wilson meet, 15th at the Carson-Newman Challenge and 35th at the Eye Opener Festival in Spartanburg, S.C. At the Carson-Newman meet, Bible posted a season-best time of 21:59.
Senior Jenny Grant is capping a solid running career with the Pioneers as she has posted three top-20 finishes in her three of her last four events entering the regional. The Franklin, Tenn. native (Battle Ground Academy) finished sixth at Warren Wilson and posted an 11th place finish at the Maryville Invitational in her last race. Her 5K time of 22:22 at The Citadel was a season-best. Grant is a 4.0 honor student and was named to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team last season and was the SAC Scholar Athlete for Women’s Cross Country this year.
Sophomore Ashley Gregg has competed in all seven fall meets, including the Warren Wilson event where she finish 13th. Her time of 23:14 at The Citadel Invitational was a collegiate best for the Parrottsville, Tenn. native (Cocke County HS).
Greeneville freshman Allison Hall has been solid in her first Tusculum campaign as the Greeneville HS alum has accounted for a pair of top-20 finishes, including 15th at Warren Wilson and 17th at Maryville. Hall’s season-best time of 23:14 came at The Citadel meet.
Sophomores Lakesa Hendrix (Hendersonville, Tenn./Station Camp HS) and Carol Hogan (Pelham, Ala./Indian Springs HS) will also be competing. Hendrix has participated in all seven meets this fall, including her 14th place showing at Warren Wilson and finished 35th at The Citadel. Hogan has competed in six events this year, including her 20th-place showing at Warren Wilson.
Senior Kim Brown (Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) will not be competing this weekend at the NCAA Regional as she is also a starter on the TC women’s soccer team, who is playing in the Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament in Rock Hill, S.C. Brown finished in the top-30 in three of her five events this year. She finished 22nd at both Warren Wilson and Maryville, along with a 30th-place performance at The Citadel Invitational.
For more information on the 2012 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championship, please visit the official tournament website at: http://www.queensathletics.com/sports/2012/9/8/MXC_0908125529.aspx?path=wcross
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