JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (Oct. 30, 2022) – Evan Guzman (Franklin, Tenn.) continued his stellar cross country season as he finished second at the 2022 Southern Conference Championship, which was held Sunday Johns Island County Park in Johns Island, S.C.
Guzman, who matched the best finish by a Buccaneer runner at the conference meet since 2018, ran his second-fastest 8K time as he clocked in at 24:05.5. The Buccaneer leader registered his fourth top-five finish this season and improved on his ninth-place showing at last year’s championship. The last ETSU runner to finish runner-up at the SoCon Championship was Ben Varghese (Kingsport, Tenn.).
Guzman was eighth at the 3K mark with a time of 8:50.2 and moved up three spots at the 5K checkpoint (14:59.2). The Franklin, Tenn. native finished the final stretch in 9:06.3 to jump three spots, finishing behind Furman’s Dylan Schubert who won the individual championship with a time of 23:41.5.
Joining Guzman in the top-10 was senior Gavin Cooper (LaFollette, Tenn.) as he placed ninth – his best finish at the conference championship – with a time of 24:36.0. Cooper was 14th at the 3K checkpoint and 13th at the 5K point, and passed four runners down the stretch to finish in the top 10.
As team, ETSU finished second with 55 points, while Furman captured its 10th straight title by totaling 27 points. Mercer (100 points), UNCG (101) and Samford (123) rounded out the top-five teams.
The Bucs’ other countable scores came from Myles Stoots (Mobile, Ala.), Josh Krafsur (Fort Collins, Colo.) and Nate Hillis (Knoxville, Tenn.). Stoots placed 12th with a mark of 24:42.1, Krafsur finished 14th (24:46.5) and Hillis came in 18th with a time of 25:13.1.
At the post-race ceremony, George Watts was named SoCon Coach of the Year. Guzman earned first team all-SoCon honors, while Cooper, Stoots and Krafsur landed spots on the second team and Hillis and Xian Campbell (Chattanooga, Tenn.) were named to the all-freshman team.
The Bucs will gear up for the NCAA South Regional which is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11 in Huntsville, Ala.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s cross country, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s cross country tab.