RIO GRANDE, Ohio — Keaton Gaffney finished 27th overall and Zeddy Koech and Alesa Steiner both placed in the top 40 for the women and Garang Madut led the men with a 34th-place showing for Cumberland on Saturday at the Mid-South Cross Country Championships.
The Bulldogs finished seventh in the conference championships for both the men and women in the program’s second year of competition since being reinstated.
Gaffney, a sophomore from Mt. Juliet, paced the women’s squad, completing the 5K course in 21:53.21, while Koech, a junior from Eldoret, Kenya, and Steiner, a freshman from Hendersonville, were 35th and 37th, respectively, with times of 23:10.71 and 23:33.77.
Freshman Emily Thurman (Spring City) posted a mark of 24:40.48, finishing 41st overall, while senior Candice Ray (Kingston Springs) was 45th in 25:33.58 and sophomore Chelsea Reeves (Lebanon) placed 51st in 27:18.48. The women finished two spots higher in this year’s final standings than in 2012.
Madut, a freshman from Nashville, finished 34th overall in 29:38.62. Freshman Tanner Harp (Hendersonville) placed 43rd overall in 30:31.95, while freshmen and Gallatin natives Spencer Rearick and Richie Palmeiri were 56th and 59th, respectively, with times of 34:23.37 and 35:18.26. Junior David Cheers (Middleton) registered a time of 35:36.85 on the 8K course for 60th overall.
The Cumberland men moved up three spots in the team standings compared to last season.
Four runners named MSC Scholar-Athletes
Keaton Gaffney, Zeddy Koech, Chelsea Reeves and Devin Rickard were all named Mid-South Conference scholar-athletes, as announced by the league office Friday in advance of the conference championships.
Gaffney, a sophomore from Mt. Juliet, was one of three female runners to post a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average. She majors in Biochemistry.
Koech, a junior from Eldoret, Kenya, holds a 3.40 GPA in Nursing, while Reeves, a sophomore from Lebanon, has a 3.70 GPA in Psychology.
Rickard was the only male runner to be honored, with the junior from Maryville posting a 3.68 in Biology.
Student-athletes must be a sophomore, junior or senior academically and maintain a 3.25 GPA to be eligible for the award.