NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Paul Smith's College men's and women's cross country teams competed in the NAIA National qualifying race for the TranSouth and Sunrise Conferences last Saturday at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.

The men's team was paced by senior Philip Dybfest-Muha, who placed ninth overall, and qualified for the NAIA Nationals, being held in Kenosha, Wis. Dybfest-Muha was the top finisher from the Sunrise Conference, finishing the 8 kilometer event in 28:44. He was followed by fellow senior, Dean Rinehart, who finished in 14th place with a time of 29:43.

The Paul Smith's men placed fourth out of seven teams with 95 points. Union University from Tennessee won with 34 points.

Dybfest-Muha is the first Paul Smith's College athlete to qualify to compete in NAIA Nationals.

Jessie Gardner took the top spot for our women's team, placing 15th with a time of 22:26 over the 5 kilometer course.

Union University won for the women, with 17 points, followed by Blue Mountain College from Mississippi with 61 points, and the University of Maine -- Presque Isle with 93 points. The colleges and universities of the TranSouth Conference and the Sunrise Conference, although far apart geographically, made for a truly competitive event with similarly small colleges taking part. Colleges in the TranSouth come from Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi.

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