Men's cross-country team becomes NCCAA national champions
On Nov. 15, the men's cross-country team won the NCCAA National Championship. The men's cross-country team had five runners in the top 23 to take home the honor of national champions.
'It feels awesome and it's a very unique experience that I have never felt in athletics,' Head Cross Country Coach Caleb Morgan said.
The men's cross country team traveled to Houghton, New York where they placed 1st out of 19 teams. The men's cross country team had three runners in the top 15, all of which earned NCCAA All-American honors.
A major factor that played out this season for the Flames is their recruiting class. The Flames had three freshmen finish in the top 15 to earn NCCAA All-American honors.
Freshman runner Seth Eagleson was the first to finish for Lee, and third to finish overall with a time of 25:11. Freshman Harold Smith finished right behind Eagleson to finish fourth overall with a time of 25:14. Sophomore Tyler Boone finished with a time of 25:40 to earn 12th overall.
'Our recruiting class last year we had a two freshman and a sophomore who were our top 3 runners, I also feel that the summer played a huge factor we had a couple of athletes that lived here during the summer, and just the leadership they showed this summer to get better,' Coach Morgan said.
Morgan also said that Eagleson and Smith stood out the most this season.
'Seth Eagleson and Harold Smith I can't say one name, but Seth Eagleson was our top runner the beginning of the season and the end of the season. But everything in between was Harold Smith,' Morgan said.
As the program has progressed over the past couple of years, Morgan feels like the team this year had more of a team mentality and a sense of unity.
'Previous teams have said, 'how am I going to do individually to help the team.' However, the team this year was more team oriented on how can we help each other become better,' Morgan said.
Coach Morgan feels like competing against NCAA Division-I played a big role in their success.
'Racing that top level competion of Division 1 schools, we raced three or four teams ranked in division two which helped us a lot this season,' Morgan said.
According to Morgan the team had a mantra they would say before every race, 'We are a team, we are a family, we are brothers."
Morgan feels like the sense of family and brotherhood was what helped them throughout the season.
'Brotherhood is what carried us through this entire season,' Morgan said.