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Smith and Aikens Take Wins to Lead Cross Country Teams to Titles

Lilly Smith (photo credit: Maryville College)
Lilly Smith (photo credit: Maryville College)

MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- For a fourth straight meet the Covenant women's cross country team, led by a first place finish from Lilly Smith, took home the team title while the men's team won its third meet of the year as the Scots swept through the Maryville Invitational on Saturday morning.

The women finished first among eight teams in the field, while the men were first out of six.

Smith continues her remarkable season and her spot among the best runners in the conference. The senior outpaced the field with her time of 23:09.9, the third fastest 6k in program history, to win her fourth straight meet. Smith now owns each of the top three 6k times in the program's history. Smith not only helped Covenant to a team title, but she defeated the reigning USA South meet champion Lindsey Pritchard of Methodist.

As a team, the Scots placed seven runners inside the top 11. Hannah Samuels came in fourth overall at 24:59.2 and S.K. Lipperd was sixth with time of 25:13.7. Alexandra May also set a personal record as she placed seventh with a time of 25:22.2. Michelann Settle was the fifth Covenant runner to finish in the top 10 as she came in eighth at 25:24.6. Maggie Henry had a personal-best time of 25:38.1 and finished 10th with Anna Danek completing the top seven Covenant finishers as she finished 11th at 25:53.3, a personal best.

Covenant tallied 26 points to defeat fellow USA South member Meredith (73 points). 

On the men's side, Aikens claimed his first individual title of the season as he led throughout and finished with an 8k time of 27:12.0. Aikens was one of three Scots to place in the top five, and six within the top 10 in the event. Nate Collins had a personal record of 27:34.3 in the 8k and finished second, while Matthew Tueller was third at 27:37.1. Matthew Broussard ran a time of 28:07.5 to place overall and Micaiah Allison was ninth at 28:17.3.

Rounding out the top seven finishers for Covenant were Matt Seitz (28:30.1) as he placed 10th and Benjamin Jones (28:37.9) who set a person record en route to finishing 11th. 

Covenant totaled 23 points on the day to defeat Methodist (53 points) along with USA South members Maryville, Brevard, and LaGrange.

Women's Results (top 7 finishers):
1st - Lilly Smith - 23:09.9
4th - Hannah Samuels - 24:59.2
6th - S.K. Lipperd - 25:13.7
7th - Alexandra May - 25:22.2 (PR)
8th - Michelann Settle - 25:24.6
10th - Maggie Henry - 25:38.1 (PR)
11th - Anna Danek - 25:53.3 (PR)

Men's Results (top 7 finishers):
1st - Caleb Aikens - 27:12.0
2nd - Nate Collins - 27:34.3 (PR)
3rd - Matthew Tueller - 27:37.1
8th - Matthew Broussard - 28:07.5
9th - Micaiah Allison - 28:17.3
10th - Matt Seitz - 28:30.1
11th - Benjamin Jones - 28:37.9 (PR)


Covenant will have a week off before competing in the Berry Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 13 in Mount Berry, Ga.


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