Coming off four races finishing in the top five last season, the Bucs are picked to finish third in the Southern Conference this year.

ETSU kicked off their season at the Covered Bridge Open Sept. 1 in Boone, North Carolina. At the Covered Bridge Open, the Buccaneers finished 4th, tallying up 95 points and tied with the host, Appalachian State.

The Buccaneers did an exceptional job considering they went into the tournament with six runners missing due to undisclosed reasons, four from the men’s team and two from the woman’s team.

“I was pleased with both teams,” said Head Coach George Watts. “We had three guys place in the top 20 and three girls place in the top 30.”

In the women’s race, Lindsey Stallworth (Knoxville, Tennessee) led the Bucs, finishing 7th as Kaitlyn Lay (Knoxville, Tennessee) placed 22nd and Macy Carrier (Blountville, Tennessee) rounded out the top 30, finishing 28th.

“Lindsey is a special talent, she was All-State her senior year and scored in the Tennessee State Championship in both of the 800 meter and 1600 meter race events in Track & Field. We were lucky to get her because she came on our radar late” said Watts.

In the men’s race, redshirt sophomore Adam Bradtmueller (Sarasota, Florida) led the Bucs, topping out at 11th. Behind him were sophomore Nathan Longfellow (Cookeville, Tennessee) and James Garst (Jonesborough, Tennessee) placing 17th and 18th.

“I feel like that is the result of the work my runners put in this summer on their own time and when they reported August 16th,” said Watts.

The Bucs next meet is Friday, Sept. 15 in Blacksburg, Virginia. The women’s race will begin at 6 p.m. with a 6k race and the men’s will begin at 6:40 with an 8k race.