Sophomore Jason McLeod (Ocoee, FL), who finished 3rd in 25:32, led senior teammates Zach Buffington (Ooltewah, TN) and Josh Bradley (Ringgold, GA) across the line. Buffington and Bradley covered the eight-kilometer layout in 25:34 and 25:40 respectively. Sophomore Drew Thompson (Oakland High, TN) rounded out the scoring finishing 6th in 25:43. Each of the top five scoring athletes was named to the AAC All-Conference Team.
Jake Bradley cracked the top ten with his 9th place finish just ahead of AAC Freshman of the Year Alex Stephens (Cleveland High, TN). Alex led freshman teammate Anthony Simpson (Father Ryan High, TN), who was also a part of the AAC All-Freshman Team, in identical times of 25:59.
Juniors Ericka Simpson (Grayson, GA) and Alyssia Lindsay (Rhea County High, TN) were named to the AAC All-Conference Team with their 6th and 7th place finishes. Simpson covered the five-kilometer course in 19:45, while Lindsay hit 19:53 across the line.
Sophomores Catherine Anderson (Maple Grove, MN) and Liz Olsen (Glenville, NY) qualified individually for the NAIA National Championship with the two aforementioned. Anderson was 10th and Olsen 11th with times of 20:11 and 20:17 respectively. Freshman Andrea Spencer (Bradley Central High, TN) was named to the AAC All-Freshman team and placed 15th with a run of 20:41.
"Our men ran exactly how we planned. We were cautious early on and upped the intensity in the latter stages of the race. The women ran the best race of the year, and I'm proud of what our athletes accomplished today. It was a great atmosphere and we appreciate all the fan support today," said Head Coach Rodney Stoker.
The Lions will travel to Vancouver, WA, in two weeks (November 20) for the NAIA Cross Country Championship.