Milligan cross country Teams dominate 2023 NAIA Appalachian Challenge

Milligan swept the 2023 NAIA Appalachian Challenge cross country meet at Sequoyah Park in Athens, Tennessee on Friday. Bryn Woodall clocked a very fast 23:49 to win the men's 8k title.

Steve Campbell

The Milligan men's cross country team get ready for the start of the race
The Milligan men's cross country team get ready for the start of the race

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Milligan University’s men’s and women’s cross country teams, both nationally ranked, made a resounding statement at the NAIA Appalachian Challenge held at Sequoyah Park. The men’s team, ranked third, clinched the team title with Bryn Woodall setting a new 8k record. The women’s team, ranked second, also captured the team title, led by Caitlin Dominy’s fifth-fastest 5k in team history.

Record-Breaking Performance From Woodall

In “really good conditions” on Friday morning, Bryn Woodall posted a sizzling 23:49 time for the 8k to not only secure him his second career victory but also broke Milligan’s previous 8k standard by six seconds.

Read more: How to follow the 2023 Blazing Tiger NAIA Classic live results?

His performance led the Buffs to a team score of 42 points, 11 points ahead of second-place No. 10 Montreat. Despite facing some health issues, the team showcased its depth with four top-10 individual finishes and seven top-25 finishers.

The performance was lauded by head coach Chris Layne, who said on the school website, “That’s a big run from Bryn today. We’ve had three different guys lead us this year, and I think that speaks to the talent in this crew.”

Team Depth and Individual Achievements

Milligan’s team proved its depth with four top-10 individual finishes and seven top-25 finishers. Aaron Jones (24:05.4) and Will Stockley (24:12.4) finished third and fifth, respectively, both posting season-best times.

Zimri Kuhn (25:01.2) and Sylas Chambers (25:35.4) also contributed to the team’s success with personal-best times for 10th and 23rd, respectively.

Read more: How to watch the 2023 NAIA Great Lakes Challenge Cross Country?

Meanwhile, Caitlin Dominy collected her first collegiate cross country victory with a time of 17:29, moving her to fifth on Milligan’s all-time cross country 5k leaderboard during the women’s competition.

No. 10 Montreat was in the team scoring with 53 points. Huntington, receiving votes in the latest national rankings, finished third with 95 points.

Milligan Women’s Team: A Dominant Run

milligan women win at naia appalachian challenge
Milligan women win at NAIA Appalachian Challenge

The No. 2 Milligan women went 1-2-3 in the race and  had six of the top 11 finishers, completing the meet with a team score of 23, far ahead of second-place Montreat’s 73 points.

“Caitlin has worked so hard and it’s just so rewarding to see her make the jump she has,” said Layne. “She never broke 20 minutes in high school but we knew because of her track times she was capable of doing what she’s done.”

Ellen-Mary Kearney was the runner-up to teammate Dominy in 17:35, and Hannah Brown finished third with a season-best time of 18:04.

Head coach Chris Layne expressed satisfaction with both teams’ performances. “We really hadn’t had good conditions until today and love how they responded and took advantage of a great environment,” said Layne.

No. 12 Montreat finished second in the women’s scoring with a team score of 73 and No. 23 SCAD Savannah was third with 95 points.

Upcoming Events

Both teams will return to Sequoyah Park for the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championships in two weeks, aiming to carry forward the momentum from their respective victories here at the 2023 NAIA Appalachian Challenge.

For complete results of the 2023 NAIA Appalachian Challenge, click here

2023 NAIA Appalachian Challenge Results and Team Scores

Mens 8000m Individual Results (8k)
1Bryn WoodallJR-3Milligan23:49.4
2Joseph SkoogJR-3Bethel (Tenn.)23:54.3
3Aaron JonesSR-4Milligan24:05.4
4Dylan BranchSR-4Montreat24:08.4
5Will StockleySR-4Milligan24:12.4
6Austin LiepeJR-3Huntington24:34.4
7Ethan StameyJR-3Montreat24:39.9
8Kent YoderSR-4Huntington24:45.3
9Nathan StameyJR-3Montreat24:53.4
10Zimri KuhnJR-3Milligan25:01.2
11Reece GibsonJR-3Huntington25:05.4
12Caleb WrightJR-3Montreat25:08.9
13Edimo NinteresteFR-1Bryan25:12.6
14Trent WellsSO-2SCAD Atlanta25:15.7
15John Perez-DunnSR-4Southeastern U.25:15.9

Womens 5000m Individual Results (5k)
1Caitlin DominySR-4Milligan17:29.4
2Ellen-Mary KearneySO-2Milligan17:35.4
3Hannah BrownJR-3Milligan18:04.0
4Andrea De La RosaSR-4Bethel (Tenn.)18:07.1
5Avery RaymondFR-1SCAD Atlanta18:09.9
6Ali RaySR-4Montreat18:11.1
7Anna MartinJR-3Huntington18:17.1
8Alex MidgettSR-4SCAD Savannah18:22.8
9Gracie AllenSR-4Milligan18:24.1
10Zanelle WillemseSR-4Milligan18:27.0
11Patricia BarreraSO-2Milligan18:27.6
12Edith ManfredFR-1SCAD Savannah18:28.3
13Catherine SlackJR-3Montreat18:31.0
14Blanca ConesaSO-2William Carey18:31.5
15Mercy KibiwottSO-2Cumberland (Tenn.)18:41.6

Men’s 8k Team Score

PLTeamTotal TimeAvg. TimeScore
4Lindsey Wilson2:09:3825:55:00162
5SCAD Atlanta2:10:5726:11:00193
6Cumberland (Tenn.)2:11:0326:12:00195
7William Carey2:12:0126:24:00230
8Southeastern U.2:11:4826:21:00232
9Bethel (Tenn.)2:11:1826:15:00238

Women’s 5k Team Score

PLTeamTotal TimeAvg. TimeScore
3SCAD Savannah1:34:2618:5395
5William Carey1:36:5819:23161
6Lindsey Wilson1:39:2619:53204
7Southeastern U.1:39:2519:53214
8Bethel (Tenn.)1:40:3620:07238
9Cumberland (Tenn.)1:41:1720:15254
10Bethel (Ind.)1:41:5020:22258

About The Author

Steve Campbell

Covers meetings in the United States, including the USA Championships, meetings in Florida and Miami, as well as promoting on social media @worldtrack. Campbell discovered his writing ability at South Broward HS in Hollywood, FL, before graduating from Florida International University and continued to sharpen his skills.

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