MACON, Ga. - Belmont's strong performance at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic keeps the men atop the Coaches' Cross Country poll by five points. Belmont's women runners earned a sixth-place finish at South Dakota State Classic to continue to hold on to the top spot.
Senior Caleb Swartz was the highest Bruin finisher at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic, placing 26th out of 294 runners with a time of 24:38.19. Sophomore Clay Hannah finished 44th with a time of 25:00.05 and sophomore Hillary Cheruiyot just missed finishing in the top-50, running a time of 25:06.28 to place 51st.
The men's poll remained unchanged for the top six spots with Kennesaw State, UNF, Campbell and Lipscomb following Belmont and ETSU. FGCU and USC Upstate split apart from a tie in the prior poll to be seventh and eighth respectively followed by Mercer, Stetson and Jacksonville. The Belmont women's team finished sixth at SDSU Classic and Brittany Thune placed 12th out of 161 racers. For her efforts, Thune was named the Atlantic Sun Runner of the Week on October 8.
Jacksonville's women's team saw a one-point bump from 103 to 104 keeping Kennesaw State in the third spot in the poll. The Dolphins have not run since they earned first at the Mercer RunFit Sports Invitational. The Owls' Mackenzie Howe helped propel Kennesaw State to a ninth place finish out of 44 teams in the Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic in Orlando, Fla.
After the top three, UNF took the fourth spot in this week’s rankings. USC Upstate and Lipscomb swapped places for fifth and sixth. The Camels own the seventh spot followed by ETSU, Mercer, FGCU and Stetson. ETSU and Mercer swapped the eighth and ninth positions from the last poll.
FGCU, Jacksonville and Stetson run at the Hatter Invitational, and Campbell, ETSU and USC Upstate will compete at the Blue Ridge Open in Boone, N.C., all on Friday. On Saturday, Mercer partakes at the Jacksonville Invitational, while Lipscomb heads to the Chili Pepper Invite. Members from Belmont, ETSU and USC Upstate will try their speed at the NCAA Pre-nationals race in Indiana.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life, with a focus on academic and athletic integrity and a balance between the two for the student-athlete, and maintaining a high level of sportsmanship. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun encompasses six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun consists of some of the most dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.