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SWANNANOA, NC - The Montreat College cross country teams made the short trip to Asheville Christian Academy on Saturday morning where they competed in the UNC-Asheville Cross Country Carnival. Competing in a field made up almost entriely of NCAA Division 1 schools, both the men and women placed 6th as a team.

The men's team was led by Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC), who finished the 8k course in 27:24.68 to place 11th overall and was the second non D-1 runner. Rylan Hincher (SO/North Wilkesboro, NC) was second for the men, placing 23rd with a time of 27:50.85. Frank Bartholow (FR/Lexington, NC) made his debut at the 8k distance and the freshman performed well, finishing third on the team and 35th overall with a time of 28:35. Daniel Lancaster (JR/Wilmington, NC) (29:29.36) and Darius Futrell (FR/Richlands, NC) (29:47.69) rounded out the top five for the Cavaliers who finished ahead of Gardner-Webb and just behind King University in the team rankings.

The women's team was again led by a trio of freshman, with Isabel Salinas (FR/Resaca, GA) finishing first for the team (32nd overall) with a time of 21:08.54. Kelly Norton (FR/Murray, KY) finished 47th in 21:57.29 while Madeline Sides (FR/Denver, NC) was right behind in 49th with a time of 21:59.99. Alona Kosenko (JR/Charlotte, NC) (22:34.27) and MiKayla Poulter (JR/Hickory, NC) (23:58.32) rounded out the top five for the Cavaliers, who placed ahead of King University and behind Gardner-Webb in the team rankings.

Head coach Jason Lewkowicz had mixed feelings about the results saying, "It's really tough to guage the results of early season meets. The main priority today was to get our freshmen men acclimated to the 8k distance and to do so in a strong field right down the road was great for us. We had a hard week of training this week so we went into the race on tired legs but, again, we are focused on the races that come later in the season. We were a little sluggish today but I was really impressed by the effort of our freshmen on both teams as many of them showed a lot of determination and effort today. We don't race again for another three weeks so we can focus solely on our training and getting everyone healthy. Our hope is to finally field our full top-seven on each side when we compete in Louisville next month."

The Cavaliers will travel to Louisville, KY to take part in the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday, October 1st. 



BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC - The Montreat College men's & women's cross country teams opened up the 2016 season as they played host for the 2016 Hyder-McMahill Invitational. The Cavaliers battled a hilly and muddy home course and came through with positive results.

The men scored 51 points to finish second to Emmanuel (GA) who won the met with 34 points. Junior Brien Lancaster (JR/Jacksonville, NC) had a strong debut for the Cavaliers as the Shorter transfer placed second with a time of 16:24.4 for the 5k course, just 0.3 seconds away from the winning runner from Emmanuel that he was trying to chase down during the home stretch. Sophomore Rylan Hincher (SO/North Wilkesboro, NC) also had a solid race as the 2016 NAIA National Championships qualifier in the marathon placed 6th with a time of 17:13. The next two Cavaliers to cross the line were freshmen as Darius Futrell (FR/Richlands, NC) placed 11th in a time of 17:28 with Frank Bartholow (FR/Lexington, NC) close behind in 13th place with a time of 17:30. Daniel Lancaster (JR/Wilmington, NC) overcame sickness to round out the top-five for the Cavaliers, placing 19th with a time of 17:46. Holden Dixon (SO/Chocowinity, NC) earned a top-20 finish, placing 20th, right behind his teammate with a time of 17:46. 

"I thought the guys came out and worked hard today," said head coach Jason Lewkowicz. "Early season races are all about building off of the training and that was what we were going for today. We are focused on being ready for November and this is part of the process. I thought that our freshmen ran well today, and it was good to see some veterans up in the top-2 for us. We're going to need our other upperclassmen to step up in the coming weeks as the freshmen continue to adapt to the training and longer distance races."

The women's team scored 90 points to finish 3rd as a team, behind Tennessee Wesleyan and Spartanburg Methodist. The Cavaliers ran short-handed, sitting several key runners who are dealing with minor injuries, but still came through with a solid effort. The team was led by a youth movement, as the top three finishers were all freshmen. Isabel Salinas (FR/Resaca, GA) had a great collegiate debut, placing 7th overall with a time of 21:21. Kelly Norton (FR/Murray, KY) came through with an 11th place finish, in a time of 22:00 while Madeline Sides (FR/Denver, NC) placed 16th in a time of 22:25. Junior Alona Kosenko (JR/Charlotte, NC) placed 25th with a time of 23:18 while MiKayla Poulter (JR/Hickory, NC) rounded out the top-five, placing 35th in a time of 24:04.

"The ladies got some valuable work in today," said Lewkowicz. "It was great for the freshmen to make their college debut on our home course and all of the ladies worked hard and executed the race plan. There is a ton of potential on this team and we'll find out over the next few weeks what we're going to do with it. I believe that they want to be difference makers in our conference and will get the opportunity to do that down the road."

In regards to hosting the season-opener Lewkowicz added, "It was a lot of fun hosting the meet today. Not only did we get to have our student-athletes compete in front of our family and friends, but we also welcomed over 300 high school runners to our home course for some great races. We were excited to bring this meet back after a year off and it was great to have both Don McMahill and Joe Hyder present. They are the namesakes of this event and to have Don there as our starter with Joe coaching his Owen High School team was great. These two gentlemen have been instrumental in the development and upkeep of our wonderful Black Mountain Campus trails and we are so grateful for their countless contributions to Montreat College."

Both teams return to action on Saturday, September 10th as they compete in the UNC-Asheville Bulldog Invitational. The Cavaliers will make the short trip to Swannanoa as the race will be contested on the campus of Asheville Christian Academy.



Knoxville, TN - The men's and women's cross country teams traveled to Victor Ashe Park in Knoxville, TN to compete in the 2015 Appalachian Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday. On a slick and muddy course in rainy conditions, both teams stepped up to the challenge and came through with strong results.

In the men's race, a young Cavaliers squad stepped up to the challenge of tough competition and a challenging race course to put five runners in the top-25 finishers en route to a third-place team finish. Daniel Lancaster (SO/Wilmington, NC) finished 10th overall in a time of 26:41 to earn AAC All-Conference honors. Steven Anhold (SO/Churchville, VA) put together a career-best performance, placing 14th overall in a time of 27:06. Rylan Hincher (FR/North Wilkesboro, NC) finished right behind Anhold in 15th with a time of 27:13. Hincher's performance earned him a spot on the AAC All-Freshman Team. Holden Dixon (FR/Chocowinity, NC) earned a top-20 finish, placing 20th in a time of 27:22. Brandon Welborn (SO/Traphill, NC) rounded out the scoring effort for the Cavaliers, placing 24th with a time of 27:44. 

In his final cross country race for the Cavaliers, senior Erik Rodriguez (SR/Euless, Texas) placed 29th in a time of 27:58 while Daniel Angarita (FR/Miller's Creek, NC) placed 41st in a time of 28:32. Lee Wooden (FR/Rock Hill, SC) placed 58th with a time of 29:51 and senior Joshua Kilgo (SR/Waxhaw, NC) placed 67th ina time of 31:20.

Montreat finished with 81 points to take 3rd place as a team, just behind Truett-McConnell (75) and ahead of Tennessee Wesleyan (99) and Bryan (104). Eight of the nine team members finished the race in personal-best times despite the the rough racing conditions

"I am extremely proud of how the guys came out and competed today," said head coach Jason Lewkowicz. "They bought in to the race plan and executed it as well as they could have. To get eight personal best times in these conditions is amazing and is evidence of the heart and effort that these men put into the race. We were hoping for a higher team finish but, at the end of the day, we could not have raced any better and you have to tip your hat to Milligan and Truett-McConnell for racing well. We came into this race as pretty much the youngest team there and this effort shows that the future is very bright here at Montreat."

In the women's race, a short-handed women's team battled through a race course that had been beaten up by the men a few minutes earlier, and came though ith a 7th place team finish, a two spot improvement from 2014. Madeline Carter (FR/Elkin, NC) led the way for Montreat, finishing 30th with a time of 22:13. Alona Kosenko (SO/Charlotte, NC) fnished 35th in a time of 22:35 while Samantha Gaskill (SR/Wilmington, NC) was close behind, finishing 38th in a time of 22:54. Sarah Smith (FR/Orlando, FL) placed 61st in a time of 25:00 and teammate Tori Combs (JR/Deep Run, NC) rounded out the scoring effort for the Cavaliers, finishing 64th in a time of 25:10. Victoria Swan (FR/Milton, WI) battled through injuries to complete the race in 92nd in a time of 33:00.

"The women came out and competed really well today," said Lewkowicz. "They had the tough task of taking on the race course after the men had chewed it up and they truly looked like they had been in battle after they crossed the finish line. All of them gave tremendous effort today and, in a race where the conditions really slowed times down, they came through with their strongest performance of the season. I am extremely proud of all of them."

Lewkowicz would go on to add, "I think we took a big step in the right direction this season. We were a really young team on both sides and only lose one senior from the scoring members. The experience we gained this year will carry over into track season and we will look to gain confidence going forward. More than anything, I love the attitude and effort that this team showed throughout the season. They bought into the training plan and we were able to rally around the idea of using our running as a means of honoring God. We've talked all season long about using our platform as runners to make much of Christ and to glorify Him in all that we do. As we continue to grow and improve, this will continue to be our foundation. I am so grateful to be a part of what God is doing at Montreat College and to be the coach of this amazing team." 

The teams will take a short break before kicking off the indoor track season on December 3 at Liberty University and December 5 at the JDL Complex in Winston-Salem, NC.

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