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Panthers Class Closes With Sweep

Panthers Class Closes With Sweep

PHOTO GALLERY

 

The senior class of Greenville University made it a sweep, winning their fourth consecutive St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country Championship. The class of five seniors (Damien Cantrell, Noah Dir, Dylan Goodyear, Dylon Niswonger, and Jackson Pierce) extended the Panthers title streak to four years, the second-longest stretch in conference history.

It was senior Dylan Goodyear that set the tone for the Panthers on Saturday, leading the race from the start en route to capturing his second straight SLIAC Individual Championship. Goodyear is just the 8th runner to win back-to-back individual titles and the first Panther to do so since Josh Martsolf accomplished the feat in 2004 and 2005. Racing on a different course from last year, Goodyear finished just one-second off last year's time; finishing in 25:56. He pushed to take the lead early, challenging the field to keep pace but they were unable to do so as his consistency paid off. Goodyear came into the race having marked times of 25:57 and 25:55 in his previous two races and kept form in the championship race. 

The Panthers' Dylon Niswonger took 3rd place with a time of 26:08 and he was joined on the All-Conference team by teammates Collin Kessinger (5th), Lukas Baird (13th), and Noah Dir (14th). The Panthers finished with 36 total points as a team, winning by 10 points and averaging a time of 26:44 for their runners. 

Even with Goodyear leading the way the men's team championship was not a sure thing as Spalding University and Webster University pushed hard. The three teams finished within 16 points of each other, marking the closest race among the top three finishers since the 1995 Championship. 

Host Spalding was led by Dane Thomas' 4th place finish (26:12) and finished with 46 team points thanks to placing four runners in the top ten, their most ever at the SLIAC Championship. Following Thomas was Will Brittain in 6th place, Jack Vinson (9th) and Devan Carter (10th). The second-place finish was the Golden Eagle's highest finish since 2015 when they won the title.

Webster University totaled 52 points was led by Nathan Freyling's 2nd place showing. Freyling finished in a season-best time of 26:08. Cameron Sakuma followed with an 8th place showing and was named SLIAC Newcomer of the Year, and Javier Cervantes placed 11th. 

Principia College finished 4th as a team with 111 points as Abe Ott capped his collegiate career with a 7th place finish, crossing the line in a time of 26:30 to pick up First Team All-Conference honors. 

Westminster College had its highest finish since 2014 with a 5th place finish, totaling 159 points. The Blue Jays' Samuel Moore came in 12th place with a time of 27:38; becoming the first Blue Jay to earn All-Conference honors since 2016. 

Fontbonne University had their lowest team score (165) since 2012, finishing in 6th place. Domenick Blanchette was the highest finishing Griffin, placing 26th with a time of 29:14.

Blackburn College took 7th place with 183 team points as Quentin Smith led the Beavers with a 30th place showing and a time of 29:47.

Iowa Wesleyan University had a pair of runner cross at nearly identical times with Nico Sheck coming in 24th just milliseconds ahead of teammate Nathaniel Townsend. 

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