Dayton, Tenn. - The Bryan Lions Cross Country teams will be traveling to the Asics Sand Shark Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 22, to compete in the highly respected race that includes a large field of talented runners. One Lion to watch is two-time Appalachian Athletic Conference Runner of the Week this season, Tyler Boone (SR/Murfreesboro, Tenn.), who placed 11th at the Greater Louisville Classic in a field of 300 runners and paced his way to a notable 12th place finish at the Royals Cross Country Challenge in a field of 364 runners. At the GLC, Boone ran the 8K race with a time of 25:36 on the muddy course against a field deep with NCAA DI runners. He ran a 24:54 in the Royals 8K, and looks to finish on a strong note before heading to Montreat College (N.C.) on Nov. 5 for the AAC Conference Championship.
-Retrieved from Sports Information Dept. of University of South Carolina Beaufort Athletics
More than 500 runners from approximately 30 teams throughout the Southeast will race on the USCB cross country team's home course in Hardeeville on Saturdaymorning in the 10th annual Asics Sand Shark Invitational presented by Mortgage Network.
A total of 31 women's teams and 29 men's teams are registered for the race, which has developed into one of the premier small-college races in the region. The 8K men's race begins at 9 a.m. with the 5K women's race to follow at 9:45.
USCB's course, which starts and finishes on the Hardeeville school campus on Red Dam Road and loops around a large pond on the adjacent Cooler property, is a flat, fast, and spectator-friendly track. The women's course makes two loops and the men's course makes three loops, meaning fans can catch a glimpse of the runners several times without doing much running themselves. The race-time forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-50s, clear skies, and breezy conditions.
The field for the women's race is particularly strong with six of the top 35 teams in the most recent NAIA rankings. Eighth-ranked Milligan (Tenn.) and No. 13 SCAD Atlanta will be the favorites to capture the team title with SCAD Savannah, Tennessee Wesleyan, Southeastern (Fla.) and Dalton State (Ga.) among the other top contenders.
Milligan's Hannah Segrave is the defending individual champion after setting the women's course record with a 5K time of 17:15 last year. She will be challenged by a host of strong runners including USCB All-American Betsy Douglas, SCAD Atlanta's Emily Kearney and Greta Van Calcar, SCAD Savannah's Caroline Cook and Charlotta Zeiler, Dalton State's Emily Poole, and Southeastern's Megan Fitzgerald.
The 14th-ranked SCAD Savannah men will be the favorite to win the men's title but should expect strong challenges from Cumberlands (Ky.) and Milligan, both of whom received votes in the most recent NAIA Top 25 poll.
Defending champion Spencer Head of Dalton State, who ran an 8K time of 24:21 last year, has not raced this season due to a nagging hamstring injury, so the individual title might be up for grabs.
A number of last year's top-10 finishers are expected to compete, including Berea's Jeremy Johnson and Logan McKenzie, SCAD Savannah's Callum Drake, and Milligan's Taylor Tafelsky.