Photos Courtesy of Chris Colangelo
BANNER ELK, N.C. – The Lees-McRae College cross country programs will begin their 2019 seasons Friday night at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational. The start time for the races is set for 6 p.m.
Preseason Polls – The men's team was picked fourth in the annual preseason coaches' poll, while the women's squad was picked to finish eighth. The Bobcats will be led by Head Coach Ley Fletcher, who is entering his eighth season as the leader of both programs.
Women's Preview – The trio of Sarah Bowman, Brianne Heard and Maegan Prettyman were picked as runners to watch for the Bobcats this fall. Bowman enters her final season as a Bobcat off a solid junior season. Bowman's top finish came at the Lenoir-Rhyne Open where she finished 20th with a time of 27:39.5. Her best 5k time came at the Royals Challenge on October 12, while her top 6k time came at the Conference Carolinas Championships.
Heard posted a trio of top 15 finishes as a freshman, including a 13th place nod at the Conference Carolinas Championships. With that finish, Heard became the first All-Conference Carolinas runner for LMC since 2012. Thanks to that finish, Heard was invited to compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships in mid-November. Heard placed 90th at that event with a time of 25:48.4.
Prettyman competed in six races as a freshman in 2018. Prettyman's top time in a 5k race came on October 12 at the Royals Challenge with a time 24:22.0. The Morganton, N.C. native put together her best time in a 6k race at the Conference Carolinas Championships with a time of 29:33.3.
Men's Preview – The men's team is coming into 2019 with three straight second-place finishes at the league meet under their belt. Tristin Bertie, Joshua Hall and Anton Ledell were picked as runners to watch for the team in 2019. Bertie had an impressive sophomore campaign as he logged two times in 2018 that rank within the program's top 20 all-time marks. One of those top 20 times came at the Conference Carolinas Championships where Bertie ran the 8k course in 26:43.8. With that time, Bertie was named to the All-Conference Carolinas Third Team.
Hall will look to continue to build upon his solid junior campaign in his final season as a Bobcat. His best performance of the 2018 season came at the Royals Challenge in mid-October where he ran his fastest collegiate time (26:24.0). That mark was the eighth-fastest time in the history of LMC men's cross country.
Ledell, who enters his second season in Banner Elk, ran his top time last fall at the Lenoir-Rhyne Open where he logged a time of 26:42.8, which was good for 12th place for the meet. Not only was that mark 12th in the meet, it was also the 15th-fastest time in the history of LMC men's cross country...The Stockholm, Sweden native finished 23rd in his first Conference Carolinas meet in early November.