BANNER ELK, N.C.--After finishing second in the Conference Carolinas Cross Country Championships a year ago, the Lees-McRae Bobcats men's cross country team has one goal in mind - WIN. Head Coach Craig McPhail enters his tenth season at the helm of the Bobcats after guiding the team to NCAA Div II Regional Championships a year ago with eight freshmen on his roster.
While the Bobcats are focused on winning Conference Carolinas and continuing to cement themselves as one of the top programs in the Southeast Region, the team will have to do so without Lewis Martin who graduated from the college as one of the most decorated runners in program history. A four-time All Conference, and three-time All Region winner, Martin was also named Freshman and Runner of the Year during his career and named to theconference's All Time Team when the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference changed its moniker to Conference Carolinas in the summer of 2007.
"What we lost in senior experience we gained in the influx of talented freshmen and transfers," stated McPhail. "I am excited about this group of newcomers and their blending with the upperclassmen. Jon Bernal (Oakton, Va.), Matt Barrett (Douglasville, Ga.), and Aaron Wilkins (Mt. Airy, N.C.) will continue to grow and develop while Michael Davis (Independence, Va.), Cody Hodgins (Cornelius, N.C.), Luke Anton (Brevard, N.C.) and Nathan Trimble (Houston, Texas) will be key additions. Our goal remains to be among the best in the conference and the region," concluded McPhail.
The Bobcats will open the 2008 season August 29th at the Covered
Bridge Open hosted by Appalachian State University in Boone,