CHARLOTTE — The St. Andrews University cross country teams both ran against NCAA Division I, II and NAIA competition over the weekend at the Royal XC Challenge in Charlotte at McAlpine Creek Park.
The men’s team ended up coming in 21st out of 35 teams (17th in D-II) in a field that included teams from Duke, UNC-Charlotte and a host of other big-name Division II schools.
Duke came in first followed by King College and UNC-Charlotte while NAIA member SCAD came in eigth and USC-Beaufort in 22nd.
In the Division II race, the Knights top runner was freshman Danzel Jefferson who came in 46th (out of 223 runners) with a time of 26:53 in the 8K race while junior Tyler Beaver was 82nd overall with a time of 27:59. Next for the Knights was sophomore Cannon Heath in 105th with a time of 28:31 followed by the fourth top runner on the team in freshman Justin Brown who came in 134th with a time of 29:13. Freshman Ryan Hughart finished next to complete the scoring for the Knights with a time of 31:07. Fellow freshman Chase Kopp was sixth on the team with a time of 31:17 with freshman Michael Hare following him up in 32:14.
Jefferson, Beaver, Heath, Brown, Kopp and Hare all ran their personal bests in the 8K race as well.
In the women’s race, the Lady Knights finished in 25th place out of 35 teams including two Division II teams in the University of South Carolina — who won the race — and Duke who finished third. Wingate came in second while SCAD was fourth and UNCP was fifth. However in the D-II/NAIA race the Knights came in 21st place overall with 553 points with Wingate winning it.
Finishing as the number one runner for the Lady Knights for the first time this year was freshman Ashley Barrera who ran a 20:04, by far her season-best to come in 77th place overall (65th in D-2) out of 240 runners in the mostly Division II race. Next was sophomore Kaitlyn Stempien who came in 98th with a time of 20:32 while senior Karlee Arnold was third on the team in 156th place with a time of 22:08. Following her was freshman Morgan Tedder who came in 161st in 22:17 while fellow freshman Kara Thornton finished up the scoring as she was fifth on the team in 22:35. Senior Rebecca Yuswak also finished for the knights with a time of 23:22
Achieving personal bests other than Barrera in the women’s race were Yuswak, Stempien, Arnold, and Tedder.
The cross country teams will be competing in the Sand Shark Invitational in Beaufort, S.C. on Oct. 26.