SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Sept. 30, 2017) – ETSU’s cross country teams began the “stretch run” of their 2017 season in the best way, sweeping the women’s and men’s championships at the USC Upstate Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C. on Saturday.
Running the same course that will host the Southern Conference Championship meet in less than a month, each ETSU squad bested runner-up Appalachian State – the men by 21 points and the women on a tiebreaker.
"It's great to get a win anytime, but it was special with both teams winning today," said ETSU head coach George Watts. "The women had a great race, with entire group setting either personal or season bests. The men ran a slightly different race plan but had a similar result."
Both Bucs teams put two runners in the top five, and four in the top ten, of the individual standings of collegiate runners. Ben Varghese (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Adam Bradtmueller (Sarasota, Fla.) respectively finished 2nd and 3rd in the men’s 8K, while Emily Williams-McElroy (Bristol, Tenn.) and Lindsey Stallworth (Knoxville, Tenn.) were 3rd and 4th in the women’s 5K.
Kaitlyn Lay (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Macy Carrier (Bluff City, Tenn.) finished 8th and 9th, respectively, in the women’s race. For the men, Daniel Sonnenfeldt (Knoxville, Tenn.), Nathan Longfellow (Cookeville, Tenn.) and Noah Charles (Johnson City, Tenn.) were 8th, 9th and 10th, and were separated by just four seconds.
(Both the men’s and women’s races were won by unattached runners. The 7th-place runners in each race were also unattached.)
The Buc men placed four more in the overall top twenty. Nick Horne (Blountville, Tenn.) was 17th, Carl Oberfeitinger (Kingsport, Tenn.) 18th, James Garst (Jonesborough, Tenn.) 19th and Matthew Scarr (Wambersal, Australia) 20th. Malick Gemechu (Johnson City, Tenn.) was 27th and Haydn Borghetti-Metz (Rogersville, Tenn.) was 36th in a field of 106.
In the women’s race, Makayla Shaw (Jonesborough, Tenn.) was 24th among the college runners, with Heather Feuchtenberger (Elizabethton, Tenn.) 31st and Lindsay Bruce (Knoxville, Tenn.) 39th. Nicki Smith (Urbandale, Iowa) and Mia DePillo (Fort Wayne, Ind.) respectively finished 66th and 67th overall out of a field of 125.
"Both teams have done a great job this season of fighting all the way to the finish line," Watts said. "They know every point counts and passing people can be the difference between winning and losing."
Three other SoCon teams competed at the USC Upstate on Saturday. In the men’s race, Wofford was 3rd, Western Carolina 5th and Mercer 9th. In the women’s race, Western Carolina was 5th, Mercer 6th and Wofford 10th. There were 11 Division I schools in the field.
Up next for the Bucs is the HPU Vert XC Invitational in Kernersville, N.C. on October 13. The SoCon Championship is back in Spartanburg on October 28, and Watts hopes Bucs fans turn out then the way they did Saturday.
"I really appreciate the great support we get from our parents, alumni and teammates," Watts said. "Today was good example of that. It was neat to have so much support on a day we earned two victories."
For more information on Buccaneer Cross Country, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the cross country pages. Follow ETSU cross country on Twitter @ETSU_TF_XC