ANDERSON, S.C. – Two weeks after finishing third at the South Atlantic Conference Championships, the Anderson men's cross country team will head back to the Tar Heel State for the NCAA Southeast Region Championships, which will be hosted Saturday morning on the campus of Wingate University.
The championships start at 9 a.m. with the women's 6k race and will be followed at 10:15 a.m. by the men's 10k. Wingate was also the site of the 2015 NCAA Southeast Regionals.
The top three teams from the regional meet will automatically advance to the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Evansville, Ind., on November 18. The top two individuals who are not part of a qualifying team will also automatically advance to the championship.
The Trojans, who were ranked sixth in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) DII Regional Rankings, will be squaring off against nationally fifth-ranked Mount Olive, who claimed the Conference Carolinas title and South Atlantic Conference champion Queens, which is tabbed 10th nationally.
Senior Mason Hazel posted a personal-best time en route to a fifth-place finish and First-Team All-Conference honors at the SAC Championships. Freshman Ben Clark finished 11th and earned Second-Team All-SAC and All-Freshman Team accolades, while freshman Weston Hutto claimed 20th place and earned Honorable Mention All-SAC honors.
Freshman Cameron Owens-Hunter narrowly missed earning honorable mention accolades after finishing 22nd, while sophomore Luke Horne claimed 38th place. Freshman Joey Teachout finished 43rd, with classmate Phillip Quillen taking 53rd place. Senior John Drummond brought home 63rd place. The freshmen tandem of Ian Yates and David Rolon rounded out the Trojan contingent in 72nd and 78th place, respectively.
Mount Olive is the defending regional champion, having beaten out Mars Hill and Queens at last year's championship meet in Montevallo, Ala. Flagler and Augusta also finished in the top five at last year's regional. Paced by Hazel's 22nd-place finish, the Trojans placed ninth at the 2016 NCAA Southeast Region Championships. Hazel earned All-Region accolades for the third straight year, while Horne placed 64th.