by Jason Mehl
Director of TFC Sports Information
The Toccoa Falls College women’s cross country team finished second out of six teams at the NCCAA Div. II National Championship meet. The Men’s team finished fifth out of eight teams. The second place finish for the women was the highest finish since the team began competing in 2003.
Conditions at race time in Cedarville, Ohio were sunny and breezy and 50 degrees. All seven of the TFC Lady Eagle runners, Clessie Kendrick, Alisha Carlson, Jodi Braselton, Kathleen Lipson, Christi Wells, Miranda Cooper, and Nicole Rupp, responded well to the cool temperatures and finished with personal best times. Kendrick finished 4th in the field of 44 runners in the 5k race at 21:24, averaging 6:53 per mile. Carlson finished 10th at 23:01, and Braselton cut two minutes off her former personal best to finish 18th at 24:12.
North Central University (Minnesota) won the women’s meet and Manhattan Christian College (Kansas) finished just behind TFC in third place.
The men’s cross country team turned in a few personal bests as well. Ben Pigott’s personal best of 28:39 (5:46/mile) on the 8k course was good enough for 6th place out of 54 runners. Sam Burnett finished 14th with a personal best of 30:26, and Jeremiah McDuffie came in 19th with a personal best of 31:06. North Central won the men’s race as well.
Head Coach Dale Garside was pleased with the performance of both teams. “The entire team was thrilled with everyone’s improvement and an excellent outcome for the women’s team-it was a great way to end the season,” he said.