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Covenant Athletes of the Month - August/September: Lilly Smith and Nate Collins

Athletes of the Month: Lilly Smith and Nate Collins

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant Athletes of the Month sponsored by Atlantic Capital, the official bank of the Covenant Scots, for the month of August/September are women's cross country senior Lilly Smith and men's cross country freshman Nate Collins.

The Covenant Athletes of the Month is a new initiative aiming to recognize the best female and male athletes and their performances during a month.

Smith, a senior from Weaverville, N.C., has had an incredible start to the season and continues to make her mark on the program's record book. The senior won all four meets and was named USA South Runner of the Week four times during the month. Smith began the season with an individual title at the Mountaintop Invitational with a program-record time of 12:42.68 in the two-mile race. She followed that with wins at the Huntingdon Invitational (Sept. 8) and the Berea College Mike and Mary Kay Invitational (Sept. 15). Smith capped the month with the third-fastest 6k time in program history at 23:09.9 to win the Maryville Invitational (Sept. 29).

Along the way, Smith has collected all of the USA South Runner of the Week honors as she became the first Covenant runner to win the award four times in a season. Smith's four individual titles are already a program record for an individual in a single season, while her finishes have led the Scots to four team titles.

Collins, a freshman from Birmingham, Ala., has also had an immediate impact to the men's team in his first year. The freshman has three top five finishes, one individual title, and four top 10 placements overall on the year for the Scots. Collins was also named the USA South Rookie Runner of the Week twice during the month (Sept. 3, Sept. 24). Collins made his collegiate debut by winning the Mountaintop Invitational on Aug. 31 with a 5k time of 17:09.4. He placed fourth at the Huntingdon Invitational (Sept. 8), led the Scots with an eighth place finish at the Berea College Mike and Mary Kay Invitational (Sept. 15) and placed second at the Maryville Invitational (Sept. 29).

Collins' times and finishes have helped the Scots to three team titles to begin the season.


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