Harding competes Saturday in GAC Championship

SEARCY — The Harding cross country teams begin their postseasons Saturday at the 3rd Great American Conference Cross Country Championship hosted by Arkansas Tech University.

The women’s 5k race begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by the men’s 8k race at 10:30 a.m.

The Harding men’s team is looking for its first GAC championship, while the women are looking for their first since 2011 and second overall.

Harding holds the top conference time for both men and women this season. Junior Ewa Zaborowska has the top women’s time in the GAC with a 5k time of 17 minutes, 29.99 seconds. Senior Andrew Evans is the conference’s 8k leader with a time of 25:08.97. Both have earned GAC Runner of the Week honors three times this season.

Harding’s teams are the only GAC teams ranked in the USTFCCCA Division II Central Region Rankings. The Bisons are ranked No. 10, and the Lady Bisons are No. 9.

Tech to host CX championship

RUSSELLVILLE — The Arkansas Tech cross country program will host the first Great American Conference championship event of the 2013-14 school year, as the GAC Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships will be held outside Tucker Coliseum on Saturday.

The women’s 5k race will begin at 9:30 a.m. while the men’s 8k race will begin at 10:30 a.m.

The Golden Suns will look to finish ahead of the fifth-place selection in the GAC preseason coaches’ poll. "I think Laura (O’Dowd) can finish in the top-ten," said Golden Suns head coach Tom Aspel. "She could get Freshman of the Year. Cheryl (Nolan) has finished third before, she’s that caliber of runner. If we can run decent, things are going to look good."

The Golden Suns will face tough competition from several of the programs. East Central swept both the men’s and women’s championships last season, but this year Harding has the more highly-ranked programs. The Lady Bisons’ Ewa Zaborowska, the defending GAC Runner of the Year, has led Harding to a No. 9 ranking in the Central Region while the Bisons men are ranked tenth.

he conference will present the team champions, runners-up and individual medalists at an awards ceremony at 11:30 a.m. At that ceremony, the league will announce the 2013 All-GAC squads, runners of the year, freshmen of the year and coaches of the year.