Dayton, TN – The Bryan College cross country men claimed the 2011 AAC Cross Country Championship Saturday morning when they raced over the eight-kilometer layout at Fort Bluff Camp. The win marks the third consecutive victory and fourth in the last five years. The women took the runner-up spot behind team champ Milligan. It was Bryan’s first time to host the conference championship.
Leading the charge for the men were senior Bryson Harper and junior Jason McLeod who took 2nd and 3rd with times of 25:40 and 25:43 respectively and earning All-Conference accolades. The top freshman honor went to Bryan’s Connor Hatfield who took 6th in 26:10, just edging out sophomore teammate Alex Stephens, who clocked 26:11 for 7th. In all, five Lions were named to the AAC All-Conference team that included the four mentioned and sophomore Anthony Simpson who crossed the line in 9th.
Three freshmen made the All-Freshman team with Hatfield finishing as the top newcomer to the league. Rookie teammates Madison Yates and Chris Pineda were named to the All-Freshman group as well.
Seniors Alyssia Lindsay and Ericka Simpson claimed All-Conference honors with finish spots of 7th and 9th. Both qualified individually for the NAIA Championship along with All-Freshmen performer Jessica Stockton who crossed the line in 14th.
Head Coach Rodney Stoker was named the men’s cross country Coach of the Year for the third year in a row.
“It was a great morning for our group. To win is always nice and I’m proud of how both our groups performed. The Milligan men gave us a nice race. Coach Layne does a super job, having his guys and gals ready to run at the championship. We look forward to the challenge ahead of us at the national championship,” said Head Coach Rodney Stoker.
“I thought our ladies did a nice job and ran their best race of the year. Three of them will get the opportunity to represent Bryan at the national championship out in Vancouver. We appreciate the nice home crowd we had on the mountain and for the ability to use Fort Bluff. I think hosting meets will be something we do more of in the future and look to make it a great course for all levels,” continued Stoker.
Up next for the Lions will be a trip to Vancouver, Wash., for the NAIA XC Championship that will take place on Saturday, November 19.