LYNCHBURG, Va. - An excellent team effort gave the men's cross country team a third-place finish at the Big South Cross Country Championship on Saturday in Lynchburg, Virginia. A team score of 86 and an average time of 26:29 resulted in the highest team finish since 1994. Two Buccaneers, Fearghal Curtin, and Jeryck Wilson finished in the top 10 and received All-Conference honors.
"I am pleased with the whole effort today. It represented a really big breakthrough for our young team and shows the progress we have made in a short period of time," said Jim Stintzi, Director of Track & Field and Cross Country.
The painfully hilly 8k course turned out to be a big challenge for the majority of the teams at the Conference Championship. Freshman Fearghal Curtin went out hard right behind the top runners from Campbell and Liberty. After a fierce finishing sprint, Curtin brought home a sixth-place finish in 25:24.
"It was a tough race but I felt good. I went out fast and was kind of isolated for most of the race but I still had a strong finish," Curtin said with a smile.
Top 3 was the tough team goal that Curtin (freshman) and teammate Jeryck Wilson (sophomore) wanted to reach. Both top 10 finishers agree that it was a big step for Charleston Southern University.
"I feel great about the third-place finish. We did exactly what we were supposed to do and ran our own race the Charleston Southern way," said Wilson, who finished ninth in 25:45.
Wilson, a kinesiology major, received Big South All-Conference and All-Academic honors. The sophomore has taken on the responsibility of a leader on the cross country team and has set a high standard both athletically and academically.
"We need to focus on being tough and staying up at the top. We definitely will have even better chances next year," Wilson said excitedly.
The theme of the team was to toughen up when the race got going, stay in control physically and be strong mentally. Remarkably, seven men in the CSU Conference team were freshmen and the remaining two members were sophomores. Freshman Jaymee Domoney bravely placed in the top 20, by running a solid 26:35. Teammate Joshua Bowers was not far behind and crossed the finish line in 27:07, resulting in a 25th place in the race.
"Joshua Bowers had a really big breakthrough in the race," said Stintzi. "We have so many guys that are really new to collegiate running and have done extremely well. That is very exciting to me," Stintzi added.
Hayden Alexander produced another positive performance. Hayden clocked a time of 27:30 and was the 32nd runner to cross the finish line. Fellow Buccaneers Adam Huff (27:41) and Trevor Dominy (28:04), finished in 37th and 41st place respectively.
"The performance today responded to what we thought was possible and realistic. Some people exceeded the goals and some were slightly off. Overall, the men's and women's teams were not afraid to run and did a great job in executing the race plan," concluded Stintzi.
The complete results from the Conference Championship can be viewed at http://results.tfmeetpro.com/Blue_Ridge_Timing__wwwblueridgetimingcom/2017_Big_South_Championships/
The Buccaneers will return to action at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship in Charlottesville, Va., Friday, November 10th.