CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- The Tusculum men's and women's cross country teams competed at the Royals Cross Country Challenge, hosted by Queens University Friday afternoon at McAlpine Creek Park.
The Pioneer men, ranked seventh in the Southeast Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, finished 14th out of 43 teams while the women placed 32nd out of 45 schools.
Tusculum will return to action next Friday, Oct. 19 at the Lenoir-Rhyne Classic in Newton, N.C.
The Pioneers were ninth among NCAA Division II Southeast Region teams in the meet, which included athletes from Division I, II and III schools and the NAIA. Tusculum tallied 435 points in the team standings.
Individually, Jackson Beason finished 37th overall and came within one second of the school record for an eight-kilometer course with a time of 25:05. Former two-time SAC Runner of the Year and three-time All-Region athlete Simon Holzapfel holds the school record of 25:04 set while winning the 2010 SAC Championship.
Kyler Hodges finished 60th for the Pioneers with a time of 25:19, while T.J. Tupps placed 65th overall in 25:23. J'Quen Johnson was 157th overall for the Pioneers with a time of 26:24, and Daniel Rotich rounded out the scoring for Tusculum in 26:58 to place 209th overall in the field of 395 runners.
The host Royals won the men's team title with 58 points, followed by Mount Olive (62) and Morehead State (73). Lee (133) and Alabama-Huntsville (140) rounded out the top five. Christian Noble of Lee won the individual championship in 23:27, winning by 20 seconds over Justin Moakler of Morehead State.
Competing in a field of more than 400 runners, the Pioneers took 32nd overall with 969 points across the five-kilometer course.
Brooklyn Smith was 287th overall with a time of 21:54, and Angel Quay was Tusculum's fifth finisher with a time of 22:44 that was 320th overall. Also running was Judith Chepkirui, who finished 351st overall in 24:09.
Davidson edged Morehead State for the team title by margin of 112 points to 117. SCAD Atlanta finished third with 125, with host Queens placing fourth with 145 points and Lee taking fifth with 153 points. Hannah Steelman of Wofford was the individual winner with a time of 16:27, placing 17 seconds ahead of Leah Hanle of Mount Olive.
Royals Cross Country Challenge
at Charlotte, N.C.
Men's Standings (top 5): 1. Queens, 58; 2. Mount Olive, 62; 3. Morehead State, 73; 4. Lee, 133; 5. Alabama-Huntsville, 140; 14. Tusculum, 435.
Tusculum finishers: 37. Jackson Beason, 25:05; 60. Kyler Hodges, 25:19; 65. T.J. Tupps, 25:23; 157. J'Quen Johnson, 26:24; 209. Daniel Rotich, 26:58; 222. Alejandro Perez, 27:13; 252. Carson Walls, 27:45.
Women's Standings (top 5): 1. Davidson, 112; 2. Morehead State, 117; 3. SCAD Atlanta, 125; 4. Queens, 145; 5. Lee, 153; 32. Tusculum, 969.