November 4, 2007

Martin Qualifies for National Championships; Bobcats Finish Third

WINGATE, NC--Senior Lewis Martin made his last NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Cross Country Championship race one to remember as he finished fifth overall and advances to the national championships at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO on November 17th. Saturday, at Wingate University, Martin from Charlottesville, VA had to make a valiant kick over the past 200 meters to secure his trip to Missouri.

"He has worked hard and wanted this opportunity so bad, it was good to see him take the chance and make the most of this race," said Coach Craig McPhail. "He has been an inspirational leader to this team and this achievement will go in a long list of accomplishments he has had while at Lees-McRae."

Martin was named to the All-time All-Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference team last year, holds all Lees-McRae distance records from 3000m to 10,000m and has been named to the NCAA All-Southeast team the past three years, while being a 4-time All-Conference runner as well.

This marks the third time a representative from Lees-McRae's men's cross country team will compete in the championships. In 2000 Derick Williamson qualified and in 2001 the men's team finished second in the regional and advanced.

The Bobcats men's team finished on a high note, with their 3rd place finish, just 22 points from second and the final bid for the national championships. "We gave it our best, we just did not have enough depth," said McPhail. "These guys have given me their hearts this year, and they will remember this season for a long time as they have developed into even better people."

Sophomore Chris Holstein (Middleburg, FL) captured his first NCAA DII Southeast All-Region honor with a 13th place finish. Senior Josh Blanc closed out his running career with an 18th place finish. As a freshman Blanc finished this race in 88th place.

Sophomore Jon Bernal (Oakton, VA) was in 31st, junior Matt Barrett (Douglasville, GA) in 52nd and freshman Aaron Wilkins (Dobson, NC) in 75th spot.

For complete results, CLICK HERE.