MORRISTOWN, Tenn. – The Mars Hill College men and women’s cross country teams took home top honors at the 2004 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Cross Country Championships held Saturday morning at Panther Creek State Park.
The win by the Mars Hill men’s team was their seventh consecutive conference championship. The Lady Lions won the SAC title for the sixth time in seven seasons. Craig Eckstein was named the men’s Runner of the Year as he finished the 8K race in a time of 27:02.23, repeating the title he won last year. On the women’s side, Sarah Utz of Wingate was the Runner of the Year as she had the best finish in a time of 19:21.25.
Newberry's best finishers in the races were no surprises, as the pair has paced Newberry in most every race this season. Olga Kuzmenkova finished the 5K in 25:03, while Jeremy Thompson was best among Indians, placing 53rd at 33:27 in the 8K.
Members of the All-SAC first team included Utz, Natalie Creech of Wingate, Marguax Cowan-Banker of Carson-Newman, Rachel Retallick and Kate Prichard of Mars Hill, Amanda Musick of Tusculum and Tabatha Lee of Mars Hill. Second team All-SAC members included Erin McKee of Mars Hill, Wingate’s Lindsay Boldt, Rori Godsey of Catawba, Jamie Dyke of Tusculum, Vanessa Gibson of Carson-Newman, Ahsley McCauley of Mars Hill and Lenoir-Rhyne’s Whitney Heavner.
The first team All-SAC team for the men included Eckstein, Ryan Willis of Catawba, Daniel Amick, Jon Stoeher, Elliott Austin, James Thompson, Dustin Whitlow and Adam Stewart, all of Mars Hill. The All-SAC second team was comprised of Adam Stewart, Perrell Bess and Nolan Winters of Lenoir-Rhyne, Corey Simons and Josh Wagner of Mars Hill, Eric Malkowski of Carson-Newman and Nick Stump and Brad Topper of Wingate.