ATLANTA, Ga. – The 2021 ASUN Conference Cross Country Championships takes place on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 8:15 AM ET at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. ASUN Championship Info | Record Book | Course Map | Live Results | ESPN+ Broadcast
All 12 teams compete in the conference meet as they look to take home the league trophy. For the second time in conference history, the meet features a broadcast element as the race is set to air on ESPN+.
Heading into the championship, four teams were ranked in the latest edition of the USTFCCCA Regional Polls with Liberty leading the way at number three in the Southeast and 24th nationally. Lipscomb and Kennesaw State came in at eighth and 12th in the South, respectively, while Eastern Kentucky ranked 15th in the Southeast.
This year’s championship is set to be a battle with 14 individuals posting sub-17:36.0 5K times during the regular season led by Liberty with six runners in the top 14. The Flames are seeking to repeat as team champions while Adelyn Ackley looks to take home her third-consecutive Runner of the Year honor and become the first to achieve the feat since 1998. Lipscomb owns three of the top-14 regular-season marks as the Bisons are led by Lydia Miller with the league’s fourth-best performance at a 17:00.4.
Kennesaw State returns to the course after not competing in the spring last season with Nyah Hernandez (16:52.00), Sarah Hendrick (17:12.68) and Katie Meyer (17:35.24) leading the way for the Owls. Conference newcomer Eastern Kentucky lands two in the top-14 with Jone Zabaleta-Larranaga (17:27.8) and Laura Taborda (17:34.8) each clocking sub-17:35.00 5K times.
The league had five squads ranked in the latest edition of the USTFCCCA Regional Poll rankings with Lipscomb and North Florida leading the way coming in at fourth and fifth in the South, respectively. Liberty (8th) and Eastern Kentucky (12th) were ranked in the Southeast while Central Arkansas came in at 10th in the South Central.
Heading into the ASUN Championship, five individuals posted sub-24:00.00 8K times during the regular season with Lipscomb registering two individuals in the top five: Grant O’Callaghan (1st; 23:45.2), Brady Johnson (5th; 23:59.1). Conference newcomer Eastern Kentucky is led by Ahmed Jaziri who has posted the second-fastest time this season in the ASUN by clocking a 23:52.9.
North Florida looks to claim its second-consecutive title as the reigning Runner of the Year Nathan Jubran leads the way for the Ospreys with the league’s third-best 8K time this year, 23:54.7. Liberty is highlighted by Felix Kandie (23:55.5) and Ryan Drew (24:02.1) whose top times rank fourth and seventh, respectively, this season.
Fans can find additional coverage of the meet by following the ASUN on Twitter (@ASUNXCTF) or going to the ASUN’s Facebook Page for photo galleries from the meet.