BEREA, Ky. -- Covenant women's cross country senior Lilly Smith won her third straight race to lead the Scots to a team title, while the men placed second at the Berea College Mike and Mary Kay Invitational on Saturday morning.
Covenant competed in the race after having its meet at Furman cancelled due to Hurricane Florence.
Smith won her third straight meet to start the season, something that no Covenant runner has done since 2001, after coming in with a personal record 5k time of 19:41.8. To make the feat even more impressive, Smith has won races at various distances including a two-mile, 6k, and now a 5k. Not only is she the first Covenant runner to win three straight meets since 2001, Smith is also the first runner to win three races for an entire season.
Smith's time paced the Scots to another first place finish, also the team's third straight title. S.K. Lipperd was once again the second finisher for the Scots as she placed third with a time of 20:07.4. Michelann Settle (20:50.8) placed seventh overall, Alexandra May (21:20.5) was ninth with a personal best, and Maggie Henry (21:23.9) was 10th to round out the five Covenant runners to finish inside the top 10.
As a team, the Scots bested a field of 11 teams, including defending USA South champion and preseason favorite Berea. The Scots totaled 30 points, while Berea was second with 50 points. Fellow USA South members Piedmont and Maryville also competed in the race.
On the men's side, the Scots placed second, just trailing regionally-ranked Berea. Covenant finished with 66 points, while Berea had 42. The Scots also placed better than USA South members Piedmont and Maryville.
Nate Collins was the top finisher for the Scots with a personal best time in the 8k of 27:48.8, which placed him eighth overall. Caleb Aikens was not far behind as he came in 10th at 28:06.1. Matthew Tueller was 13th with his time of 28:22.7, while Matt Seitz was 16th at 28:50.4.
Matthew Broussard also placed within the top 20 as he came in 19th with a time of 29:03.2. Micaiah Allison (29:12.4) and Jonathan George (29:45.0) completed the top seven finishers for the Scots with their 21st and 25th place marks, respectively.
Women's Results (Top 7 finishers)
1st - Lilly Smith - 19:41.8 (PR)
3rd - S.K. Lipperd - 20:07.4 (PR)
7th - Michelann Settle - 20:50.8
9th - Alexandra May - 21:20.5 (PR)
10th - Maggie Henry - 21:23.9 (PR)
11th - Hannah Samuels - 21:30.4
22nd - Anna Danek - 22:20.0
Men's Results (Top 7 finishers)
8th - Nate Collins - 27:48.8 (PR)
10th - Caleb Aikens - 28:06.1
13th - Matthew Tueller - 28:22.7
16th - Matt Seitz - 28:50.4
19th - Matthew Broussard - 29:03.2
21st - Micaiah Allison - 29:12.4
25th - Jonathan George - 29:45.0
Covenant will have a week off from competition before traveling to the Maryville Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 29.
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