Hannah Segrave ran a course and school record 17:59.1 to win the women’s race, Taylor Tafelsky won the men’s race with a 19:33.0, and both Milligan College cross-country teams took home the top four spots en route to overall team victories at the third annual Buffalo Valley Stampede at Buffalo Valley Golf Course on Friday evening.
In front of its largest and most energetic turnout in three years of hosting the event, the No. 17 Milligan women placed the top four and five of the top six to claim 16 points, 23 ahead of second-place North Greenville University. The No. 20 Milligan men claimed the top seven spots and eight of the top nine for 15 points, 37 ahead of NGU.
“Buffnation never disappoints,” Head Coach Chris Layne said. “We are so fortunate to have such a supportive campus and I know out entire team appreciates the opportunity to run at home in this type of environment.”
Segrave, a junior, ran the school’s fastest time in a 3-mile event and finishing over a minute faster than the rest of the field.
“Hannah and I talked about trying to run sub 18, which I think was a solid benchmark in these conditions,” Layne said. “She just keeps taking steps every time the gun fires.”
Segrave was followed by Amber Grello (19:14.7) and JJ Robinson (19:17.2) who stayed close to one another throughout the race, then freshmen Alissa Furches (19:35.2) and Kaitlynn Ellis (19:53.8) who took fourth and sixth in their collegiate debuts.
Tafelsky led the men’s side with a 17-second improvement from last year’s event in which he finished sixth. It was also 17 seconds faster than Brandon Ellis who took the individual runner-up.
“Taylor came back after the summer in a better place fitness-wise so this was a good start to the season,” Layne said. “He normally takes a little more time to adapt so to see him run well early is a good sign for the rest of the season.”
Tafelsky was the front side of a seven-man group of Milligan harriers as Ellis, Luke Boeche, Eric Shull, Jay Solinger, Sam Bratton and Carson Kirby all crossed the finish line before the first non-Milligan runner.
Ellis, last year’s Appalachian Athletic Conference Runner of the Year and the national runner-up in the marathon, ran a 19:50.7 and was one of five Buffs to cover the 6k course in under 21 minutes.
Next up, Milligan will head to Asheville, North Carolina, for the Asheville Cross Country Invitational on Friday, Sept. 18. It will be one of four more meets before the Buffs head to Knoxville for the AAC Championship on Nov. 7.
No. 20 Women’s Golf starts with win
Cassidy Gibson and Megan Gaylor earned spots on the all-tournament team after the No. 20 Milligan College women’s golf team opened the fall season with a victory at the 18-hole Jim English Invitational on Thursday.
Milligan, winners of four straight events outside of last year’s NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship, edged Bellarmine University of Louisville by two strokes for the win, 322-324. Host Centre College, a familiar name in last year’s NCAA top 25 polls and the winner of last year’s invitational, finished third.
The eight-team tournament was played at 6,000 yards with par 73 at the Danville Country Club. Gibson and Gaylor each fired rounds of 80, Ann Sullivan and former Hampton standout Michaela Matheson both contributed to the victory with a score of 81, and freshman Kayland Boling rounded out the scoring for Milligan.
Milligan’s next event is scheduled for Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 14-15, at the Jekyll Island Invitational in Jekyll Island, Georgia. Last season, the Buffs were led by Gaylor, who shot a second-round 76 and finished tied for 19th overall, at Jekyll Island.
Davenport wins second straight AAC Setter of the week award
Milligan College senior volleyball player Jessica Davenport has been named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Setter of the Week for the second straight week, announced the league office Monday.
Davenport has now garnered the same award seven times in her career, and this is the second time she has done so in back-to-back weeks after winning it four times in 2014, including three times in just four weeks.
Davenport started the week on Tuesday by helping the Buffaloes defeat Tennessee Wesleyan College 3-0 in their first AAC match of the year, and paced the Milligan attack with 29 assists and no setting errors. Additionally, Davenport had 10 assists in each of the first two sets to go along with nine in the final frame.
Next, Davenport had two strong matches on Saturday as Milligan fell to Life University 3-1 and Dalton State University 3-2. In the opening match against Life, Davenport led with 27 assists, which she followed up against Dalton State with a career high 46 assists. In the second match against the Roadrunners, Davenport had 10 or more assists in three of the five sets, including 13 in the fourth set to force a fifth frame, and she also contributed defensively with seven digs. Davenport again finished with no setting errors in both of the matches on Saturday.
Davenport will look to set her sights on a three-peat as the Buffs continue their month-long road trip with matches at Union College, Reinhardt University and Point University, all of which are league opponents.