The cross country team traveled to Cullowhee, North Carolina, over the weekend to compete in the Southern Conference Championship. The Bucs came out with major success, with the men placing 2nd of 10 while the women placed 4th of 10.

Sophomore Ben Varghese (Kingsport, Tennessee) finished top five, leading the Bucs with a 24:13:98 in the 8K race. Other Bucs that finished in the top 20 were sophomores Matt Scarr (Wambersal, NSW, Australia) and Malick Gemechu (Johnson City, Tennessee), junior Adam Bradtmueller (Sarasota, Florida) and senior James Garst (Jonesborough, Tennessee).

Noah Charles (Johnson City, Tennessee) tied his best collegiate finish at 10th place, matching his performance at the Bucs’ last event at the HPU Vertcross Invite two weeks ago.

For the women, Lindsey Stallworth (Knoxville, Tennessee) finished in the top five of her 8K race. Alongside her were freshman Shila Kapaya (Knoxville, Tennessee) and Genevieve Schwarz (Oak Ridge, Tennessee) who aided in the Bucs in placing fourth overall.

Kapaya claimed one her best efforts of the season, placing in at 20 while Schwarz placed 25th in her third top-30 finish of the year.

Scwarz and Kapaya also won conference all-freshman honors while Stallworth was named first team all-conference.

For the men, Varghese claimed first team all-conference with Charles and Scarr finished second team. Freshman Gavin Cooper (Lafollette, Tennessee) finished 24th overall, marking him the sole member of the all-freshman team.

“I’m happy to contribute to the team,” said Scarr, as he hopes to help his team even further with future events.

“Both teams had solid performances and held to the form charts,” said head coach George Watts. “We need to enjoy the successes of this meet but put it behind us and begin preparation for the NCAA South Regional.”

The Bucs now set their sights on the NCAA South Regionals. The event will be held in two weeks down in Tallahassee, Florida. With the Bucs coming off a successful meet, there should be more success in the next event. The Bucs have time to prepare for their next event while celebrating a huge finish in the SoCon Championship event.