HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (Oct. 22, 2016) – Milligan College cross-country All-American Hannah Segrave broke the course record and won her third race of the season to lead the No. 8 Buffs to a team win in one of the biggest races of the season, the 10th annual ASICS Sand Shark Invitational hosted by USC Beaufort, Saturday morning. Taylor Tafelsky led Milligan's men to third as a team.
The race was one of the biggest of the season in terms of both numbers and significance. It featured more than 500 runners and approximately 30 teams competing from all across the southeast, and it served as the final tune-up for the Appalachian Athletic Conference Championships and NAIA Cross Country National Championships. Segrave broke her own course record and won it by four seconds. Tafelsky placed fourth, less than a minute off the lead.
"We knew this was going to be close," Head Coach Chris Layne said. "Our conference has gone from getting very little exposure to arguably having two of the top 10 teams in the country. The women know we can tighten things up even more over the next 2-3 weeks. We'll enjoy this today but then it's important to get right back to work tomorrow."
Segrave's time of 17:14 was her best of the season and just over one second faster than USCB's course record, which she set at last year's Sand Shark Invitational. JJ Robinson followed next on the women's side with a ninth-place finish in a time of 18:12.
"Hannah really enjoys this meet so it was special for her to come back, run well and stay undefeated on the season," Layne said. "I think it's also important to note Sarah Kate Gartman's run today, as she took a huge step to fill our no. 3 spot."
Gartman (18:30), Amber Grello (18:58) and Erica Stone (19:14) all finished in the top 30, taking 13th, 19th and 28th respectively.
On the men's side, Milligan put five in the top 40 with Tafelsky (25:18) up top in fourth, Brandon Ellis (25:56) in 14th, Mitch Bronstetter (26:06) in 16th, Sam Wehner (26:18) in 21st, and Peter Mermilliod (26:40) in 40th.
For Tafelsky, the Sand Shark race marked his fourth race of the season and fourth time he has finished inside the top four.
Milligan's men were the top finishing team among AAC schools as nonconference opponents SCAD Savannah and Berea took the top two spots in front of the Buffs.
"SCAD Savannah is ranked 14th so I really feel like the men took a step toward being ranked inside the top 25," Layne said. "This is one of the most complete races we've had and I was extremely pleased with the way our young guys stepped up today."
Next up, Milligan will race in the AAC Championships, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5, in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Milligan swept both the men's and women's championships last season, with the women winning it for the 13th straight time.
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BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. (Nov. 5, 2016) – Milligan College's cross country teams traveled to Montreat College on Saturday to compete in the Appalachian Athletic Conference championship meet. The men's team won the conference title, thanks to five Buffaloes finishing in the top 15. Senior Hannah Segrave cruised to win the women's 5k, leading the women to a second place finish.
The men got the day started with a dominating performance. Senior Taylor Tafelsky led the Buffaloes and finished second overall with a time of 26:18.1 in the 8k. Freshman Mitch Bronstetter was not far behind, finishing fourth overall with a time of 26:36.1 Also finishing in the top 10 was senior Brandon Ellis, who finished seventh with a time of 26:55.0. A pair of underclassmen rounded out the Buffaloes' top five, with Sam Wehner finishing 13th and Carson Kirby finishing 14th. Milligan had three top 10 finishes and five in the top 15. No other team had more than two top 10 finishes or three in the top 15.
"The men have really started to click and I'm proud of their effort during the second half of today's race. We were down a little going into the three mile mark but they finished well," Head Coach Chris Layne said after the win. "This is another positive step for the men's program and I think our leadership has done a great job of bringing the young guys along. We have three freshmen in the top seven and they've been so important to our success this year."
On the women's side, Segrave dominated the race for her second AAC title in a row. She finished in 17:53.3, 19 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.
"Hannah has embraced everything I've thrown at her," Layne said. "Three years ago this same weekend, Hannah had just cracked our top 7 for the first time to make our team to nationals and now she'll be making her 10th straight national appearance in track and cross country."
Junior Sarah Kate Gartman followed Segrave for the Buffs, finishing sixth overall with a time of 19:24.4. Teammate JJ Robinson followed a few seconds later, resulting in a seventh place finish. Senior Amber Grello finished in 19:41.7 and placed ninth. Two more Buffaloes finished in the top 15, with freshman Katlyn Haas coming in 11th place and Ashton Bunch coming in 14th.
The race turned into a top 10 matchup between the No.8 Buffaloes and No.9 Bees from SCAD Atlanta. Despite the strong showing, the Buffaloes fell two points short of champion SCAD Atlanta, who had runners finish second, third, fourth, fifth, and 18th. Only one other team had one runner finish in the top 10 while placing another runner in the top 15.
Despite the narrow defeat, Coach Layne remained optimistic following the race.
"This is certainly bittersweet," Layne said. "But this team is headed to the national championships for a 14th straight year and what they've accomplished separates this group of women from a lot of folks."
In two weeks, both teams will wrap up the fall season at Principia College outside of St. Louis for the NAIA National Meet. Additional information can be found at the link above.
Following the race, the AAC announced its All-Conference awards. On the men's side, Tafelsky, Bronstetter, and Ellis all made the All-Conference team, with Bronstetter and Wehner qualifying for the All-Freshman team. Wehner and Kirby were named to the All-Conference seond team. Chris Layne won Coach of the year for the second year in a row.
Also for the second year in a row, Hannah Segrave was named AAC Runner of the year. Gartman and Robinson,also made the All-Conference team, with Bunch, Haas, and Grello being named to the All-Conference second team. Freshman Katlyn Haas was the lone Buffalo on the All-Freshman team.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Dec. 3, 2016) – The Milligan College men's and women's track and field teams traveled to Winston-Salem and Black Mountain, North Carolina, for split squad meets at the Montreat College Distance Carnival and the JDL Kickoff Classic. In the first meet of the year, several Buffaloes either set personal records, broke school records, and/or met national qualifying times.
Making her debut in the women's 3000 meter, senior Hannah Segrave shattered the school record of 10:10.55 and ran a 9:51.73, which qualified her for nationals.
In the men's 3000, Milligan held the top two spots. Senior Taylor Tafelsky dominated the field and finished in 8:44.09. Freshman Mitch Bronstetter followed in 8:58.78.
"We felt this was a great opportunity to open up the track season for some of our top folks who seem to still be on the upswing," Head Coach Chris Layne said. "This was a quality early season meet so for Hannah and Taylor to come away with two commanding wins is a good feeling."
The Buffaloes had their stellar freshman class on full display across all events. Freshman Romeo Gibbs placed in the top 15 of the men's long jump and jumped 6.69 meters, a personal best and new school record.
In the women's 800 meter, freshman Erica Stone made her debut and placed 10th in 2:27.92. Fellow freshman Katlyn Haas had a top ten finish of her own in the women's one mile run, finishing eighth in 5:23.91.
Freshman Sam Wehner made his debut in the men's one miler and finished in 4:38.52, resulting in a sixth place finish.
"We had a number of freshmen step up today and I think it all started with Romeo in the long jump," Layne said. "Our distance crew, Mitch, Erica, Katlyn and Sam were solid and I think overall the entire crew was able to get valuable reps."
Sophomore Mark Stair finished second in the men's high jump, reaching two meters.
"Mark and Coach Clonce have obviously been working on refining a few things technically," Layne said. "Clonce feels Mark has really picked up where he left off."
Milligan's track and field teams return to action in 2017 at the ETSU Track and Field Invitational. The meet is scheduled for January 13-14.
ELSAH, Ill. (Nov. 19, 2016) – Milligan College's cross country teams traveled to the campus of Principia College in Elsah, Illinois, to compete in the NAIA National Championships. The Buffaloes faced cold and windy conditions, and the race featured a course with an uphill start and numerous challenges throughout. Both teams battled and resulted in a 15th place finish for the women's team and a 24th place for the men.
Milligan's women's team finished with three runners in the top 100 and the entire team in the top 200. Senior Hannah Segrave led the Buffaloes with a second place finish, moving up five spots from her junior season finish. Segrave finished in 17:08.73, almost five seconds ahead of the third place finisher.
"Hannah is just a consummate professional," Head Coach Chris Layne said after the race. "Even after coming down with bronchitis early in the week, she didn't panic, kept her focus and continued to do everything she could to be ready to go. We both knew top 3 was a possibility and I think this just speaks to her talent and passion to get the most out of herself."
"I'm so happy," Segrave said after her runner-up finish. "I always wanted to finish top three so to be able to do it after not feeling too great at the beginning of the week… I can't even put into words how happy I am. I think we as a team did a good job and many of the girls had really good races."
Junior Sarah Kate Gartman for the second race in a row, finished second for the Buffaloes and placed 60th among team runners with a time of 18:33.64. Senior Amber Grello followed Gartman with a 98th place finish and a time of 19:08.02. Freshman Katlyn Haas set a personal record of 19:04.78 and finished 101st. JJ Robinson rounded out the top five for Milligan with a 152nd place finish. Ashton Bunch and Erica Stone placed 179th (19:53.07) and 196th (20:06.90) respectively.
"Knowing we were coming into this meet with Hannah sick (bronchitis) and JJ having missed all of last week due to an unlucky knee injury from the conference meet, I can't say enough about their performance today," Coach Layne said of the team. "They battled the entire way on an extremely tough course. I think Sarah Kate Gartman and Katlyn Haas really had standout performances and I'm proud of JJ for battling today to run no. 5 for us. We all knew she wasn't herself."
The finishes gave Milligan a score of 413, leading to a 15th place finish, one spot above Appalachian Athletic Conference Champion SCAD Atlanta.
The men, ranked outside of the top 25 going into the race, brought a strong group effort to break their way in. Senior Taylor Tafelsky led the way with a 30th place finish (19th among team runners) with a time of 25:13.7 to wrap up his final cross country season.
"Taylor has the ability to hit the switch when he wants and I'm not at all surprised to see him step up today and finish his cross country career with another All-American honor," Layne said of Tafelsky. "He stayed patient early on and just picked through the field."
Following the race, Tafelsky was more excited by the team's finish than his own. "We came into the race 31st and to see the team take 24th, that's not just me. That's the other six guys on the team. I think that was good to see for them."
Fellow senior Brandon Ellis followed in 87th place and finished in 26:05.6. Underclassmen Mitch Bronstetter and Carson Kirby finished less than half of a second apart, and placed 127th and 128th among team runners. Kirby's finish was a personal record. Freshman Sam Wehner rounded out Milligan's top five with a 186th place finish in 27:04.9. Garret Welsh and Peter Mermilliod finished 204th (27:22.2) and 219th (27:58.4) respectively.
"I felt like our men were a little under-ranked all season but that doesn't mean a lot if you don't step up when the opportunity presents itself," Layne said. "This was definitely a team effort and it's great to see the direction our men are headed. We knew Taylor and Brandon would be steady but I also think Mitch and Carson played a big role in the men cracking the top 25."
Following the race, two of Milligan's runners earned All-American status. Segrave's second place finish and Tafelsky's 30th place finish qualified them as All-Americans for the second year in a row.
Milligan College, Tenn. (Sept. 6, 2013) --- The Milligan College cross country team opened the 2013 season in style at the inaugural Buffalo Valley Stampede at Buffalo Valley Golf Course in Erwin, Tenn. Cassie St. John (Jonesborough, Tenn.) took top honors as she paced the No. 19 women's squad to victory, while freshman Tayler Tafelski (Hudsonville, Mich.) led the men to a second place finish.
On the women's side, St. John recorded a time of 18:39 on the three-mile course to take the victory in her first race since October 2012. Lauren Grindstaff (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished third with a time of 18:54 in her return to the program, while Meagan Wright (Florence, S.C.) recorded a time of 19:01 to finish in fourth. Senior Natalia Rivas (Johnson City, Tenn.) rounded out the top five with a time of 19:05.
Mackenzie Patten (Kingsport, Tenn.) and freshman Amber Grello (Nazareth, Pa.) earned top 10 finishes as they finished seventh and eighth, respectively. As a team, the Buffaloes earned the victory with 20 points as they captured six of the top eight runners.
On the men's side, Tafelski ran to a sixth place finish in his collegiate debut with a time of 19:46 on the 6K course. Nathan Meeuwenburg (Hudsonville, Mich.) recorded a time of 19:50 to finish in ninth, while Christian Brewer (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished in ninth with a mark of 19:54. Ayden Farmer (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Brandon Ellis (South Sapulpa, Okla.) ran to 19th and 20th place finishes, respectively.
As a team, the Buffaloes finished second with a total of 58 points. Tennessee Wesleyan, who received votes in the NAIA Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll, won the event with a total of 29 points.
"The atmosphere today was awesome," Head Coach Chris Layne said. "The support we received from our student body and administration goes a long way. It's early and we expect to look like two different teams come November, but I am pleased with both programs this afternoon. We'll continue to look to our leadership in hopes we can keep developing the young talent in our program."
The Buffaloes return to action on Oct. 4, as they travel to the Mountaineer Open hosted by Appalachian State in Boone, N.C.
Milligan College, Tenn. (Aug. 6, 2013) --- The Milligan College cross country and track and field program has announced the addition of David Pickett as an assistant coach. Head Coach Chris Layne made the announcement.
"David brings to the table a great deal of passion and energy for our sport," Layne said. "I hope Milligan is an opportunity for David to bridge the gap between where he is now as a young coach and ultimately where we think he'll be down the road."
Pickett comes to Milligan from East Tennessee State University where he served as a volunteer assistant. At ETSU, he helped with the men's and women's sprints, hurdles and relays, and worked with two Atlantic Sun Champions in Ifrish Alberg and Emani Harrison. Under the direction of Pickett, Alberg set Suriname National records in the 60-meter dash and 100-meter dash.
"I am very eager and honored to have the opportunity to work under the tutelage of Coach Layne," Pickett said. "We share the same values in wanting our student-athletes to succeed academically, athletically, and professionally. Milligan College is a great place to be and I'm excited to continue my coaching career in Johnson City."
Prior to ETSU, Pickett was a private coach and president of the Western North Carolina Track Club. The WNC Track Club men's team recorded a 21st and 23rd place finishes at the USATF National Club Track and Field Championships during his tenure. As a private coach, Pickett coached former Howard University standout Christopher Harrison to a seventh place finish in the 400-meter dash at the USA Indoor Championships in 2013.
Pickett graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 2010 where he was a top-five all-time performer in the 55-meters and 60-meters. He also served as an athletic communications assistant for the Bulldogs. Pickett also has a Masters of Arts in Kinesiology and Sport Studies from ETSU. He also holds his USA Track and Field coaching certificate.
Since their inception in 1999, the Milligan programs boast 14 top 25 national championship finishes, 42 All-Americans and over 200 national qualifiers. During the recent cross country season, the women's cross country team captured their 10th straight AAC title and ran to a 19th place finish at the 2012 NAIA Cross Country National Championships.
Milligan College, Tenn. (Feb. 12, 2011) --- The Milligan College track and field program saw four members of the team hit the NAIA national “A” standard on Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn. It was the half-marathon debut for all members of the Milligan squad.
Austin Ellis (Charlottesville, Va.) captured the men’s division with a time of 1:11.33. In addition to qualifying for the NAIA National Championships, Ellis also set the school record with his time.
Seth Grindstaff (Elizabethton, Tenn.) also recorded a notable performance on the men’s side with a time of 1:21.41.
On the women’s side, Danielle Mitchell (Johnson City, Tenn.) led a trio of Buffaloes to the NAIA National “A” Standard. Mitchell captured the women’s division with a time of 1:30.33.
Amanda Loughlin (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished in second with a time of 1:31.21, while Janey Robinson (Elizabethton, Tenn.) came in third with a time of 1:32.46.
“Austin has been on track to make this move, but these three women came from very modest running backgrounds so it’s really special to see them accomplish what they did today,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “I know this group put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves to get the standard out of the way, and I couldn't be happier with how the race turned out.”
The qualifying participants will participate in the 2011 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Marion, Ind., on May 26-28.
Geneva, Ohio (Mar. 5, 2011) --- Milligan College sophomore Lauren Hubbard (Kingsport, Tenn.) grabbed a top ten finish at the 2011 NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the 5K on Saturday afternoon in Geneva, Ohio.
The former Dobyns-Bennett standout, who was seeded 33rd out of 36 runners entering the event, ran to a time of 17:53.21. The time was Hubbard’s second fastest time of the season, with her fastest time of 17:40.29 coming during Thursday’s qualifying round.
"For a girl that never broke 18:19 before Thursday’s prelim, I'd say she handled herself like a professional this weekend,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “She went after it in the final going through the mile in 5:21, so we know she's ready to raise the bar. I'm extremely proud of what she accomplished this weekend."
The Buffaloes saw three athletes compete over the course of three days at the event. Yolando Migoyo (Kissimee, Fla.) missed the finals in the 400-meter sprint by a spot, while Chelsea Leavell (Springfield, Tenn.) competed in the weight throw competition. Tanner Payne (Georgetown, Tenn.) and Gillian Giffen (Knoxville, Tenn.) qualified for nations, but were forced to withdraw due to injury.
Milligan College, Tenn. (Feb. 1, 2011) --- The Milligan College Lady Buffs track and field and cross country programs have added David Crockett senior Cassie St. John to the 2011-12 signing class. Head Coach Chris Layne made the announcement. St. John will participate in both track and field and cross country for Milligan.
St. John finished 46th at the 2010 TSSAA State Cross Country Championships and ninth at the Region I Cross Country Championships. She also grabbed top ten finishes at both the Trailblazer Invitational and the Bristol Cross Country Invitational. She also recorded an impressive 17th place finish at the Furman Invitational.
On the track, St. John earned top ten finishes at the Times-News Relays, The Big 8 Meet, the Dan Crowe Relays, and the Frank Carver Invitational. She boasts a mile personal best of 5:34.
"Cassie is a student of the sport, she's talented, and she takes care of business in the classroom,” Layne said. “She is a very good fit for our system."
St. John, who owns a 5k best of 20:44, joins an already solid recruiting class that includes Mackenzie Patten from Sullivan South, New Jersey standout Christine McMahon, Indiana's Paxton Stephenson, and newly committed junior college transfer Ashley Hansen from Florida. They join a Lady Buffs squad that has won eight straight AAC titles and finished in the nation’s top 25 the last eight seasons.
Milligan College, Tenn. (Jan. 18, 2011) --- Milligan College has teamed up with Science Hill High School to host the inaugural Johnson City Invitational track and field event on April 15-16. The event will be hosted at Science Hill’s Kermit Tipton Stadium.
“We are pleased to be teaming up with Science Hill to bring such an excellent event to our area,” Milligan Vice President of Student Development Mark Fox said. “The event will feature some of the top local athletes, and we hope we can continue to grow it into one of the premier track events in the area.”
The event will feature many of the area’s top high school and collegiate teams. Both groups will compete in a full slate of traditional outdoor events.
In addition, Kermit Tipton Stadium will also host the Appalachian Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships this season. The state of the art facility is in its first year of use.
“These types of events are exactly what we envisioned when we were pushing for the facility,” Science Hill Athletic Director Keith Turner said. “We feel that with such a wonderful facility and the city's reputation for hosting athletic events that this particular event will continue to grow in the future and help attract other track events for our city.”
Johnson City has a storied history in hosting track and field events. The MSHA/Athletic Center is home to the Niswonger Invitational, which has featured many Olympians and world class athletes over the course of its 33 year history. Milligan also hosted the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Nationals for 10 consecutive years inside the venue.
In addition to the success of hosting track and field events, Johnson City is also home to several other popular running events. The city, which was named the number one running city in America during the 1980s, and the surrounding region is host to the world-renowned Crazy 8’s road race, Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and has been host to the AAC Cross Country Conference Championships. The Tri-Cities area is also home to two nationally known collegiate programs in East Tennessee State University and Milligan College.
Steven Wilson with Genworth Financial has joined the event as a major sponsor. Other sponsors for the event include FootRX, Johnson City Power Board, Courtyard by Marriott and Doubletree.
For more information on Milligan athletics, visit www.milliganbuffs.com
For more information on Science Hill High School, visit www.jcschools.org/shhs
For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Mark Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Keith Turner (email@example.com)