The University of Mount Olive will host the 2018 Conference Carolinas Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships this Saturday, November 3, at 10 and 11 a.m. on the UMO campus.
The men's and women's cross country teams are looking to defend their titles from a season ago and are poised to repeat again.
"We're very excited to finally host the XC conference championships. It's a great opportunity for staff, faculty, and other students to come on out and cheer us on. Not too many people are aware of what we do or how we do it. Now they'll know," said Director of Cross Country/Track and Field Matt van Lierop.
On the men's side, the No. 10 ranked Trojans (2nd in SE Region) are led by 2017 first-team all-conference seniors Alexandre Durand, Jereamy Hall, and Tai Smith. The men will be seeking their seventh straight Conference Carolinas Championship after the Trojans had a perfect score at the 2017 championship in Concord, N.C. The Trojans are coming off a 2nd place finish at the NCAA National Preview Meet on October 20, where UMO had Tai Smith and Jacob Gonzalez place inside the top-10.
"Having the opportunity to run at home gives us a great way to show everyone how strong our team is. Being at home also is special for us because I couldn't think of a better last home XC meet especially for our amazing group of seniors, than being at our home course with such a talented group of guys that work hard day in and day out," said senior runner Josh Hall.
The women (2nd in SE Region) are led by returning All-American and 2017 Conference Carolinas Runner of the Year Leah Hanle, 2017 Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year Celine Ritter, first-team all conference senior Shona Blades. The Trojan women will be looking to capture a fourth consecutive conference title on Saturday. The team is coming off a 7th place finish at the NCAA National Preview Meet on October 20, where Leah Hanle also claimed her first individual championship on the season.
The women's race will kick off the championships at 10 a.m. followed by the men's race at 11 a.m.
Live video will be available of both races via the UMO Athletics Facebook page. Coverage will begin five minutes before each scheduled start time.