XULA men edged out Philander Smith at GCAC Championships

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CLINTON, Miss. – The Philander Smith men’s cross country program wrote its names in the record books as the Panthers narrowly edged out 12-time champion Xavier by three points.

Philander and Xavier alternated between the top-six runners of the meet with the Panthers placing first, third and fifth while the Gold Rush came in second, fourth and sixth. PSC landed one more player on the All-GCAC at ninth which ultimately was the winning placement. Dillard got two runners on the board in the eighth and tenth slots while Edward Waters got represented at number seven.

EWC came in third place with 73 points, Tougaloo was fourth at 101 points and Dillard did not have enough runners to provide a team score.

Philander Smith freshman Desmond Merritt became the second straight freshman to become the GCAC men’s cross country individual champion and only the fourth freshman in the past two decades to cross the finish line first. The Panthers had Isaiah Millet (31:05.00) place third, Miles Flood (31:47.00) come in fifth and Noel Lyons (32:47.90) earn ninth.

XULA placed three student-athletes on the All-GCAC team as Ahmad Wilson (30:21.9) got second, Zacchaeus Mosley (31:09.20) earned fourth and Adrian Thornton II (32:15.30) pulled in at sixth.

Edward Waters saw its lone top-ten finisher in senior Jourdan Bell, running a 32:22.70 in the 8k.

Tougaloo’s best placement came from Jaylen Lester at 38:46.50, good enough for 19th.

Dillard, despite not getting credited with a team score, had two of its three runners claim All-GCAC honors with eighth place finisher Tevrin Jackson (32:36.90) and tenth place Isaiah Rankins carried the Bleu Devils.

PSC Head Coach Chris McConnell received his first career GCAC Coach of the Year Award.

GCAC Coach of the Year: Chris McConnell (Philander Smith)

Rank Runner, School, Class, Time
#1 Desmond Merritt Philander Smith, Freshman, 29:31.00
#2 Ahmad Wilson, Xavier (La.), Sophomore, 30:21.90
#3 Isaiah Millet, Philander Smith, Junior, 31:05.00
#4 Zacchaeus Mosley, Xavier (La.), Freshman, 31:09.20
#5 Miles Flood, Philander Smith, Sophomore, 31:47.00
#6 Adrian Thornton II, Xavier (La.), Sophomore, 32:15.30
#7 Jourdan Bell, Edward Waters, Senior, 32:22.70
#8 Tevrin Jackson, Dillard, Junior, 32:36.90
#9 Noel Lyons, Philander, Smith Senior, 32:47.90
#10 Isaiah Rankins, Dillard, Sophomore, 32:54.60

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