Nationals all about fun for men's cross country qualifiers

IMages of lynchburg zc national qualifiers on graphic with white background

Winneconne, Wis. -- Tristan Lucy-Speidel crossed the regional meet finish line, and he broke down.

The lone senior on the University of Lynchburg's men's cross country team was going to nationals. It was the only goal he'd set for his college career, and in his final chance, he accomplished it.

"It reminded me how far I've come," Lucy-Speidel (Fort Valley, Va.) said of last week's sixth-place regional finish, "because regionals my freshman year, I was absolute garbage."

That year, a young Lucy-Speidel finished 99th and failed to break 29 minutes in the 8k race. Four years later, he crossed the line in 25:52.26 with a guaranteed spot in the NCAA Division III national championship meet Saturday at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne, Wis., at 1:15 p.m. Eastern time (12:15 local).

Lucy-Speidel and freshman Max Sparks (Canton, Conn.) will represent the Lynchburg men's team in the race, directly following the women's championship, in which the Old Dominion Athletic Conference women's runner of the year Kaitlyn Johnson (Spotsylvania, Va.) will compete.

RELATED: 2018 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships website

Sparks' 14th-place finish at the regional meet was a bit more stressful when it came to national qualifying. He needed Berea's team to get an at-large berth to the race to make the field, and so he waited until the field was announced Sunday afternoon, more than 24 hours following the regional race.

"Having to find out Sunday afternoon was super stressful," he admitted.

Sparks was the only freshman from the South/Southeast Region to make the field.

For Lucy-Speidel, it took a perfect race. Even a few weeks ago at the ODAC meet, he was way off the pace. But a solid final two weeks of training and a well-executed plan made the difference.

"He was bold, and he stuck his nose up front. He ran within himself," Lynchburg cross country coach Jake Reed said.

"Before the race it hit me that this could be my last race," Lucy-Speidel added. "I just went after it, and it really ended up working out in my favor."

His race was his fastest of the season despite the muddy course.

"Just a perfectly executed race," Reed said.

Sparks finished not far behind at 26:14.8, the first in what the Lynchburg coaching staff hopes is a long and successful career.

"He has a gross amount of talent in there," said Reed. "He's an aerobic machine."

RELATED: 2018 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships live results

Lucy-Speidel, who went to nationals with two of his Lynchburg teammates in his sophomore year, said what he remembers of the championships is a different atmosphere than any other meet.

"It just felt like such a relaxed environment," the senior said.

As for Reed, he just hopes his runners take that relaxation to heart. They're going, he said, with only one expectation: to have fun.

"I don't think there could be anything those three athletes could do that would disappoint me at nationals," he said.

Visit Lynchburg athletics' home online, LynchburgSports.com, anytime for up-to-the-minute news on all Hornets sports and coverage from the Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network. Click here to sign up for email and text alerts from Lynchburg athletics.

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--LYN--

No Event
Sat Dec 01
Bast-Cregger Invitational
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Dec 01
Final
48 Randolph
82 vs. No. 22 Chris. Newport
@ Lynchburg, Va. (Turner Gymnasium) Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 01
Final
64 Mary Washington
69 Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 02
Final
66 Randolph
75 vs. Mary Washington
@ Lynchburg, Va. Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 02
Final
74 Lynchburg
62 at Shenandoah
Sun Dec 02
Final
64 No. 22 Chris. Newport
77 at Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 4 | CODE RED Game
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
Final
59 McDaniel
83 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
74 No. 16 Chris. Newport
65 at Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 29
Final
75 Lynchburg
66 vs. Muskingum
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sat Dec 29
Final
54 Meredith
70 vs. Emory & Henry
@ Lynchburg, Va. Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 30
Final
76 Emory & Henry
56 at No. 16 Chris. Newport
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 30
Final
74 Greensboro
82 vs. Lynchburg
@ Greensboro, N.C. (Ragan-Brown) Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
Final
50 Meredith
69 at Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 4
Tue Jan 01
Final
73 Averett
87 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
Final
42 Lynchburg
53 at East. Mennonite
Sat Jan 05
Final
89 Lynchburg
75 at Shenandoah
Mon Jan 07
Final
69 Washington and Lee
75 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
50 Hollins
66 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
87 No. 22 Lynchburg
73 at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
59 Lynchburg
63 at No. 21 Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
66 Va. Wesleyan
68 No. 22 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 16
Final
76 Guilford
85 Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
Final
82 No. 17 Lynchburg
79 at Washington and Lee
Fri Jan 18
VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
Final
77 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Jan 19
Final - OT
78 No. 17 Lynchburg
66 at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Fri Jan 25
Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
Randolph-Macon
Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:00 PM
Emory & Henry
Lynchburg
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 02
Vince Brown Invitational
@ Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.
Sat Feb 02
2:00 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Wed Feb 06
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Fri Feb 08
VMI Winter Relays
@ Lexington, Va.
Fri Feb 08
1 p.m.
Texas Christian
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 09
VMI Winter Relays
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Feb 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Sat Feb 09
1:00 PM
Salisbury
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 09
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Sat Feb 09
3:00 PM
East. Mennonite
Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Sat Feb 09
5:30 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day
Sun Feb 10
Randolph IHSA
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
Fri Feb 15
Virginia Tech Challenge
@ Blacksburg, Va.
Sat Feb 16
Virginia Tech Challenge
@ Blacksburg, Va.
Sat Feb 16
Bridgewater IHSA
Sat Feb 16
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Franklin & Marshall
Sat Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sat Feb 16
2:00 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
Sat Feb 16
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sun Feb 17
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Wed Feb 20
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Fri Feb 22
2:00 PM
Ferrum
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 23
Hollins IHSA
Sat Feb 23
9:30 AM
Olivet
vs. Lynchburg
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sat Feb 23
11:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Penn St.-Behrend
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Feb 23
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
Sat Feb 23
1:00 PM
Cabrini
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 23
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Rowan
vs. Lynchburg
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Rutgers-Camden
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sun Feb 24
ODAC Indoor Championships
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sun Feb 24
10 a.m.
Lynchburg IHSA
Sun Feb 24
10:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Emory
@ Cary, N.C. William Peace Triangle Classic
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Greensboro
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Fri Mar 01
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Guilford
Sat Mar 02
Roanoke Last Chance Qualifier
@ Salem, Va.
Sat Mar 02
10:00 AM
St. Mary's (Md.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
10:00 AM
St. Mary's (Md.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Geneva
Lynchburg
Suicide Awareness Day
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at York (Pa.)
Sat Mar 02
1:00 PM
Frostburg St.
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
2:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
2:00 PM
Geneva
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
3:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
1:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Mon Mar 04
Hill City Invitational, Boonsboro CC, Lynchburg, Va. -- Day 1
Tue Mar 05
Hill City Invitational, Boonsboro CC, Lynchburg, Va. -- Day 2
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
Salem
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
3:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
4:00 PM
Salem
Lynchburg
Wed Mar 06
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at William Peace
Wed Mar 06
4:00 PM
Gwynedd Mercy
Lynchburg
Fri Mar 08
NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
@ Boston, Mass.
Fri Mar 08
UNCW Seahawk Invitational
@ Wilmington, N.C.
Fri Mar 08
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salem
Sat Mar 09
NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
@ Boston, Mass.
Sat Mar 09
UNCW Seahawk Invitational
@ Wilmington, N.C.
Sat Mar 09
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sat Mar 09
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. TCNJ
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Mar 09
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Mar 09
1:00 PM
Columbia (S.C.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 09
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. TCNJ
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sat Mar 09
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sun Mar 10
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sun Mar 10
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Gordon
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sun Mar 10
12:00 PM
Cortland
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sun Mar 10
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Elizabethtown
@ U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Sparks, Md.
Sun Mar 10
2:00 PM
Cortland
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Mon Mar 11
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mon Mar 11
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mon Mar 11
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salisbury
Mon Mar 11
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salisbury
No Event
No Event
No Event
View Full Schedule
Sat Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sat Feb 16
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sun Feb 17
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Wed Feb 20
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Sat Feb 23
11:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Penn St.-Behrend
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Rutgers-Camden
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
3:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
1:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Wed Mar 06
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at William Peace
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Mar 09
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
Sat Dec 01
Final
48 Randolph
82 vs. No. 22 Chris. Newport
@ Lynchburg, Va. (Turner Gymnasium) Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 01
Final
64 Mary Washington
69 Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 02
Final
66 Randolph
75 vs. Mary Washington
@ Lynchburg, Va. Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 02
Final
64 No. 22 Chris. Newport
77 at Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 4 | CODE RED Game
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
Final
59 McDaniel
83 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
75 Lynchburg
66 vs. Muskingum
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
Final
74 Greensboro
82 vs. Lynchburg
@ Greensboro, N.C. (Ragan-Brown) Guilford Classic
Tue Jan 01
Final
73 Averett
87 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
Final
89 Lynchburg
75 at Shenandoah
Wed Jan 09
Final
87 No. 22 Lynchburg
73 at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
66 Va. Wesleyan
68 No. 22 Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
Final
82 No. 17 Lynchburg
79 at Washington and Lee
Sat Jan 19
Final - OT
78 No. 17 Lynchburg
66 at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
Randolph-Macon
Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 02
2:00 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 09
5:30 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
Sun Dec 02
Final
74 Lynchburg
62 at Shenandoah
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
74 No. 16 Chris. Newport
65 Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 1
Sun Dec 30
Final
50 Meredith
69 Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 4
Sat Jan 05
Final
42 Lynchburg
53 at East. Mennonite
Mon Jan 07
Final
69 Washington and Lee
75 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
50 Hollins
66 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
Final
59 Lynchburg
63 at No. 21 Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 16
Final
76 Guilford
85 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 19
Final
77 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Wed Jan 30
7:00 PM
Emory & Henry
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 09
3:00 PM
East. Mennonite
Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 16
2:00 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
No Event
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