NEWTON, N.C. --- The Tusculum University men's and women's cross country teams competed at the Lenoir-Rhyne Classic Friday afternoon at Southside Park.
The Tusculum men had the top two individual finishers in race winner Jackson Beason and runner-up T.J. Tupps, but finished second to the host Bears in the team standings. The Pioneer women had a pair of top-ten runners and placed second to Lenoir-Rhyne in the final standings.
The Pioneers will begin preparation for the South Atlantic Conference Cross Country Championships, to be held Saturday, Nov. 3 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Beason, who nearly set the school eight-kilometer record in last week's Royals Cross Country Challenge, ran 25:22.22 to beat Tupps to the line by 14 seconds. Tupps was clocked in 25:36.71 to claim the runner-up spot in the field.
Kyler Hodges was the third Pioneer to finish in the top 10 as he placed ninth with a time of 26:36.72, while Daniel Rotich took 15th place in 26:55.20. J'Quen Johnson was the fifth scorer for the Pioneers after placing 17th overall in 27:05.62.
Also running for the Pioneers were Alejandro Perez, who took 20th in 27:25.82, Kyle Stanley, who finished 26th in 27:53.30, and Carson Walls who was 28th place in a time of 28:24.90. Isaac Hybarger finished 37th in 31:38.62, and Marcus Savage placed 38th in 32:03.05.
Lenoir-Rhyne had five of the top eight finishers in the race and won the team title with with 25 points, followed by Tusculum with 41 points. Lees-McRae (65), Mars Hill (100) and Johnson C. Smith (155) rounded out the field.
Alissa Furches was the top finisher for the Pioneers, placing fifth overall with a time of 23:47.03 across the six-kilometer course. Yoland Boyce also finished in the top 10 for the Pioneers, placing 10th with a time of 25:14.91.
Brooklyn Smith was 12th for the Pioneers in 25:56.88, Makenzi Alley placed 14th in 26:25.37 and Angel Quay was the team's fifth runner with a time of 28:20.20 that put her in 21st place. Also running for Tusculum was Judith Chepkirui, who was 23rd overall in 29:35.03.
Lenoir-Rhyne had 20 points to win the team title, led by Domtila Kiplagat who ran 21:24.14 to win by more than two minutes over teammate Caroline Hilliard. Tusculum was second with 62 points, followed by Mars Hill (79), Lees-McRae (88), Converse (118) and Johnson C. Smith (162).
at Newton, N.C.
Men's standings: 1. Lenoir-Rhyne 25; 2. Tusculum 41; 3. Lees-McRae 65; 4. Mars Hill 100; 5. Johnson C. Smith 155.
Tusculum finishers: 1. Jackson Beason, 25:22.22; 2. T.J. Tupps, 25:36.71; 9. Kyler Hodges, 26:36.72; 15. Daniel Rotich, 26:55.20; 17. J'Quen Johnson, 27:05.62; 20. Alejandro Perez, 27:25.82; 26. Kyle Stanley, 27:53.30; 28. Carson Walls, 28:24.90; 37. Isaac Hybarger, 31:38.62; 38. Marcus Savage, 32:03.05.
Women's standings: 1. Lenoir-Rhyne 20; 2. Tusculum 62; 3. Mars Hill 79; 4. Lees-McRae 88; 5. Converse 118; 6. Johnson C. Smith 162.