Written and media by Jaylen Shelton.
On October 28th Greenville University hosted the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Championship at the Litchfield Country Club. The teams at the meet were Greenville, Principia, Webster, Spalding, Westminster, Blackburn, and Fontbonne. While the Greenville men’s team was huddling up ten minutes before the race, senior Nathan Potts told the team, “I really want to win, but I don’t want us to go out there and put too much pressure on ourselves to do it. Just got out there and run smart and have fun, and if we win then we win.” That is exactly what they went out there and did. The Greenville men’s team became back-to-back champions after having their top five runners finishing in 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 12th for a combined score of 35 points. It took a team effort from Greenville to win their 14th championship because Principia gave them a real challenge. Greenville was able to beat Principia who had the top three finishers in the race and 41 total points. However, Greenville put all of their eleven finishers in front of Principia’s fifth finisher. Everyone on the Greenville men’s team ran their fastest time ever in an 8000-meter race. They needed this effort because they only won by six points, which is the closest margin since 2010.
Greenville loaded up when it came to awards after the meet. Nathan Potts won the Sportsmanship Award. This award is voted by teammates on who has shown the best sportsmanship on the team. Kessinger won the Newcomer of the Year Award with his 12th place finish, which means that he was the fastest finisher when it came to Freshmen in the conference. Brian Patton and Scott Wilson were voted Coach of the Year by the other coaches in the conference. Goodyear and Kessinger were both Second Team All-Conference which went to the 8th-14th place finishers. Mangold, Potts, and Shelton were all awarded First Team All-Conference, which goes to the top seven finishers and that SLIAC Championship. Greenville also won its 14th Championship in its time in the SLIAC. It is the second most SLIAC Championships won by a team in conference history. The most is by Greenville’s women’s team who has won 16 championships. The Panthers have two weeks off before they head to Rock Island for the Midwest Regionals. Then, they look to break the top 20 teams in the hardest regionals in all of the Division 3 regions.