Philander Smith wins program’s first GCAC men’s cross country championship

GCAC Communications
Brian Baublitz, Jr., Sports Information Director

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 second career GCAC Coach of the Year Award, second in the past three seasons.

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

                                                                                           All-GCAC

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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