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Peace, Gears earn MSC Runner of the Week awards

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. -- The University of the Cumberlands (UC) cross country teams are continuing their season with solid finishes. With the teams earning top finishes at the Wilmington #JennaStrong Classic, not one, but two Patriots were honored by the Mid-South Conference (MSC) this week.

Junior Jonathan Gears (Andover, OH) has been named the Mid-South Conference Cross Country Athlete of the week, conference officials announced on Monday. It is the third time this season and in his cross country career that Gears has won the award. Gears becomes the first male harrier to earn the award three times this season.

The Andover, Ohio, junior finished 17th in the 416-man #Jenna Strong Fall Classic hosted by Wilmington College. Gears crossed the finish line of the 8,000-meter race with a time of 25 minutes and 44 seconds. He just edged teammate Stephen Sartoris who posted a time of 25:48 to finish 18th overall. Gears led the Patriots to an eighth place finish in the 36-team field with 241 team points.

Gears was not alone capturing his first MSC Runner of the Week Award for cross country, Cumberland teammate Madison Peace (Walton, KY) was named the Women's Mid-South Conference Cross Country Athlete of the week, conference officials announced on Monday. It is the first time this season, and the first of her career that Peace has received this recognition

Peace claims her first career Mid-South weekly honor with her 53rd place finish at the #Jenna Strong Fall Classic. The Walton, Ky., freshman led the Patriots to a 13th place finish in the 34-team field hosted by Wilmington College. Peace crossed the finish line with a time of 19 minutes and 32 seconds in the 398-woman race. Peace scored 52 points with her finish as the Patriots ended with 417 team points. She was one of four Cumberlands' harriers to finish in the top 100.

Jonathan, Madison and the rest of their Patriot teammates will now hope to continue their success as they will participate in the biggest meet of the year in Grand Rapids, MI at the Greater Lakes Challenge next week. There the Patriots will face MSC rivals Shawnee State Bears to get an indication of what to expect at the MSC Championships on Nov. 9th. The Greater Lakes Challenge meet will be held on November 2nd.

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