CHARLESTON, S.C. - Madison Burkholder leads the Charleston Southern women's cross country team as the Buccaneers make the trip to Asheville Christian Academy on Friday morning for the 2016 Big South Conference Cross Country meet. The Bucs will take on the field with the start time for the 5k race set for 10:30 a.m.
The Bucs were selected 10th overall in the Big South preseason poll, but have found success during the 2016 season with two top-five finishes on the year. CSU won the S.C. State Duels behind strong performances by Burkholder, freshman Kaitlyn Black and junior Kaitlyn Keene, and finished third overall at the Will Wilson Citadel Invitational held locally on James Island.
Liberty and High Point split the first-place votes in the 2016 Big South preseason poll with the Flames receiving 95 points overall, while High Point received 94. UNC Asheville, Campbell, and Radford rounded out the top five in the preseason poll.
Burkholder ran her fastest time of the season at the Will Wilson Citadel Invitational and led the Bucs in three of the four races in 2016. Burkholder crossed the line with a season-best 20:41.3 at the Citadel Invitational. Her top finish of the season came at the S.C. State Duels where she crossed the line second overall.
Black was the Bucs' leader at the Will Wilson Citadel Invitational with the freshman recording her best time of the season with a 20:41.0 finish. The Summerville, S.C. native has consistently been CSU's no. 2 runner on the season.
Kaitlyn Keene, Areale Frazier, Bethany Thornhill, Traci Drayton, and Nina Massie have all lined up and competed for the Buccaneers in the 2016 season. Keene finished third for the Bucs in the first three races of the season, while Thornhill finished third for the Bucs at the HPU Vert XC Invitational. Drayton, Massie, and Frazier have all placed in the top five for CSU multiple times.