Tornado record falls again at Royal XC Challenge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The King College men's cross country team saw the school record lowered by Nassem Haje Friday at the Royal Cross Country Challenge as the Tornado ran past region foes.

Haje, a sophomore from Hagerstown, Md., needed 25 minutes and 45.1 seconds to cover the 8k distance. He was 10 seconds faster than his school record set two weeks ago.

Spencer Franton (Morristown, Tenn.) became just the second Tornado runner in program history to break the 26-minute mark with his 25:47.0 run. His time was a personal best by 34 seconds for the freshman.

Daniel Hamilton (Franklin, N.C.) lowered his season best by 14 seconds and his personal best by 10 seconds as he finished at the 26:13.5 mark.

Justin Humphreys (Bristol, Tenn.) ran the event 26:30.1 while Taylor Dix (Memphis, Tenn.) crossed the finish line in 26:48.2.

In the team standings King finished ninth, ahead of Mount Olive (N.C.) College, 10th, and Mars Hill (N.C.) College, 13th. Earlier in the week King was ranked fifth in the US Track and Field & Cross Country Southeast Region with Mars Hill third and Mount Olive fourth. The Tornado also ran past NCAA Division I squads from Florida State University, the Citadel (S.C.), UNC Asheville and Charleston Southern (S.C.). Host Queens (N.C.) University won the team title over UNC Greensboro and Georgia Tech.

The event was held at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C. which has been home to the Footlocker High School Southeast Championship and will serve as the 2010 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championship on Nov. 20. Next for the Tornado squad will be the Cavalier Invitational in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 5.