Thomasville, NC- The St. Andrews Presbyterian College Men’s Cross Country Team was the highest ranked team in this years cross country preseason poll. Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference head coaches voted the Knights the number one team in an annual preseason poll to rank predicted order of finish within the league. 

          Sixth year head coach and reigning CVAC men’s cross country Coach of the Year Gary Aycock fields an 11-runner roster that has high expectations for 2006. Aycock plans to guide a talented group of endurance athletes that are coming off their most successful season to date. In 2005, the Knights were victorious in four of seven races including claiming their first CVAC Championship title. They capped the stellar season with a second place finish in the NCAA DII Southeast Regional and a automatic bid to their first ever NCAA National Championship. Aycock looks to build on last year’s success with a young roster that features five letter winners and six freshmen. St. Andrews’ returning vets include All-CVAC honorable mention member Adam Vick and All-CVAC second teamers Tim Bourke and Perry Morris. Also Mitch Cooper who was the CVAC Freshman of the Year and All-CVAC first team member will be returning. All in all, the Knights depth between proven veterans and a young, undeveloped recruiting class has the potential to surpass last year’s success. “Our goals are to defend our CVAC Championship title and run well in the NCAA Southeast Regional meet and qualify for the NCAA nationals for a second straight year,” said Aycock.

          The Lees-McRae men’s cross country team took the second spot in the coaches poll as they look to improve on last seasons second place finish in the CVAC Championship.  The Bobcats are looking young again with six new faces; however there are five returnees to help with their depth. Coach Craig McPhail thinks this could be a quality group of harriers. “We have a lot of potential, especially when you look at the talent of the newcomers; Cody Beaman, Chris Holstein, and Jon Bernal, are three of the best freshmen I have ever brought in.” Junior Josh Blanc and sophomore Matt Barrett will help the newcomers get through the ups and downs of the season and guide them through the 8k and 10k distance runs. With good reason there is a lot of optimism in Banner Elk, NC over this year’s group of Bobcats.

          The Anderson men’s team won two meets last season and finished fourth in the CVAC Conference Championship.  “I think the men’s team will have a good year,” New head coach Randy Greer said. “We’ve brought in some good recruits. If they mesh well, I think we can finish in the top three in the conference.”  Greer expects sophomores Nate Parsons, an All-CVAC second teamer, and Jeremy Hunsaker to lead the way for the Trojans. “Nate and Jeremy both had excellent track seasons and set some school records,” Greer said. “They’re going to run 1-2 and if either one of those guys have a bad race, then freshman Alex Jordan will probably be there to take their spot. We’re going to have a strong five if everybody comes back in shape and runs the way they can run.”





            CVAC Men’s Cross Country Pre-Season Poll

            (# of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)

            1.  St. Andrews                      (10)      100     

            2.  Lees-McRae                                     87       

            3.  Anderson                                        76

            4.  Pfeiffer                                            68

            5.  Coker                                  (1)        56

            6.  Barton                                             54

            7.  Queens                                           43

            8.  Limestone                                       37

            9.  Belmont Abbey                                35

            10.  Erskine                                          31                 

            11.  Mount Olive                                   18




2006 CVAC Men’s “Preseason Runners to Watch” List

(As selected by the member institutions)


Name:                                      School: Year:                Highlights:

Ethan Schaffner                       Anderson         JR         2004 1st Team All-CVAC

Nate Parsons                           Anderson         So        2005 2nd Team All-CVAC

Ransom Haitema                      Barton              SO        2005 All-CVAC Honorable Mention      

Corey Winner                           Barton              JR

Logan Beytagh                         Belmont Abbey JR

Alex Perwich                            Belmont Abbey FR

David Green                             Coker               SR        2004 & ‘05 1st Team All-CVAC & 2004 CVAC Champion & Runner of the Year

Nathan Hansen                       Coker               SR        2005 All-CVAC Honorable Mention

John Sell                                  Erskine             SR       

Hunter Gaffney                        Erskine             SR

Lewis Martin                            Lees-McRae     SR        2005 CVAC Champion & Runner of the Year, ’05, 04’ & 03’ 1st Team All-CVAC, & ’03 Freshman of the Year

Brent Clausing,                        Limestone        JR         3 top 5 finishes in 2005; 6th of 83 at CVAC

C.J. Eason                                Mount Olive      So        Trojans’ top returning finisher at 2005 CVAC meet

Tristan Thackston                    Pfeiffer             So

Matt Tyndall                             Pfeiffer             So

Ryan Connelly                          Queens            SR        2005 1st Team All-CVAC & All Region

Philipe Araujo                           Queens            JR        2005 All-CVAC Honorable Mention

Mitch Cooper                            St. Andrews     So        2005 1st Team All-CVAC, CVAC Freshman of the Year, & All Region

Perry Morris                             St. Andrews     So        2005 2nd Team All-CVAC

Tim Bourke                               St. Andrews     SR        ’05,’04, & ‘03 2nd Team All-CVAC, & ‘05 All Region