OAKWOOD, Ga. --- The Tusculum University men's and women's cross country teams competed in the University of North Georgia Invitational Saturday morning.
After being regionally-ranked for the first time in program history, the Pioneer men backed up their fifth-place ranking by tying for fourth place in the field of 11 schools. The Tusculum women tied for eighth place out of 14 teams competing in the meet, which was held at the site of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional in November.
The Pioneers will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Royals Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte, North Carolina.
T.J. Tupps was the top finisher for the Pioneers, crossing the line in 11th place out of 95 runners with a time of 26:41.71 for the eight-kilometer course. Jackson Beason placed 21st overall in 27:05.25, with Kyler Hodges taking 23rd in 27:12.73. J'Quen Johnson came home in 44th place in 28:16.53, and Marcus Savage was the fifth scorer as he came across the line 48th in 28:22.92.
Augusta won the team title by one point over UNC Pembroke, 45 to 46, while the Braves' Joshua Chepkesir was the individual winner in a time of 25:07.60, nearly 20 seconds ahead of runner-up teammate Silus Kipkoech. Anderson was third with 99 points, while Tusculum tied with Columbus State for fourth with 136 points, just ahead of Lincoln Memorial in sixth with 138 points.
Alissa Furches covered the six-kilometer course in 24:29.56 to earn a 15th-place finish for the Pioneers. She was followed by Brooklyn Smith, who was 59th overall in a time of 27:05.39, along with Yoland Boyce who was timed in 27:25.83 for 64th place. Makenzi Alley finished 66th in 27:38.71, while Angel Quay was 83rd in 29:45.09 and Judith Chepkirui in 96th place at 32:33.76.
Host North Georgia won the event by one point (55) over Anderson (56 points), with Columbus State in third with 80 points. North Greenville (121) and UNC Pembroke (164) rounded out the top five, with Tusculum collecting 248 points to finish in a tie for eighth with Shorter. The individual champion was Makayla Hewell of Shorter, who crossed the line in 23:04.20 to beat Alli Hay of Columbus State by 18 seconds.
at Oakwood, Ga.
Men's Standings: 1. Augusta, 45; 2. UNC Pembroke, 46; 3. Anderson, 99; t4. Tusculum, 136; t4. Columbus State, 136; 6. Lincoln Memorial, 138; 7. North Greenville, 179; 8. West Georgia, 209; 9. Shorter, 215; 10. Mars Hill, 234; 11. Clark Atlanta, 354.
Tusculum finishers: 11. T.J. Tupps, 26:41.71; 21. Jackson Beason, 27:05.25; 23. Kyler Hodges, 27:12.73; 44. J'Quen Johnson, 28:16.53; 48. Marcus Savage, 28:22.92; 54. Alejandro Perez, 28:36.90; 68. Kyle Stanley, 29:15.17; 69. Carson Wells, 29:16.27.
Women's Standings: 1. North Georgia, 55; 2. Anderson, 56; 3. Columbus State, 80; 4. North Greenville, 121; 5. UNC Pembroke, 164; 6. Augusta, 200; 7. Brenau, 243; t8. Shorter, 248; t8. Tusculum, 248; 10. Mars Hill, 264; 11. Middle Georgia State, 265; 12. Lincoln Memorial, 267; 13. West Georgia, 294; 14. Clark Atlanta, 392.