Salem, Va. -- Max Sparks carried the banner for the University of Lynchburg men's and women's cross country teams Saturday, winning the men's individual title at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship meet.
Both Lynchburg teams finished second in the meet at Green Hill Park in Roanoke County.
Sparks continued to climb in the Lynchburg distance-running record book, winning the 8k race in 24:44.1, just one second off the program's fastest-ever time. He became the first Lynchburg man to win the ODAC championship since Cody Stanton won the race in 2012 and the 14th Hornet in history to win the conference title.
Sparks won the race by more than 15 seconds.
Lynchburg's men raced fast behind the sophomore as well. Shawn Gmurek set a new PR in his fourth-place finish, clocking in at 25:14.7 to move into seventh on the program's all-time leaderboard, and Andrew Johnson's 25:22.2 -- good enough for sixth place -- ranks 12th on the program's list.
Brennan Straits (12th, 25:58.5) ran into the All-ODAC leaderboard, and Ethan Batchelor (16th, 26:06.2) also scored for the Hornets, who totaled 39 points, just short of team champion Washington and Lee's 31.
Stephanie Burnett led the Hornet women to their third-straight runner-up finish at the meet. Burnett clocked in at 22:12.5, finishing fourth in the 6k and leaping to third on the women's all-time leaderboard at that distance. It also marked the third consecutive year a Lynchburg woman finished in the top five at the championship meet.
Michela Cholak also turned in an All-ODAC performance (11th, 22:47.9) for the Hornets, who finished with 73 points, well behind champion W&L (20) and comfortably in front of third-place Shenandoah (87).
Kodi Payne (16th, 23:05.3), Kelsey Lagunas (19th, 23:25.7), and Haleigh Kozlowski (40th, 25:00.7) also scored for Lynchburg. Payne's time put her eighth on the program's all-time top times list, and Lagunas moved to 10th.
Lynchburg's runners will set their sights on the South/Southeast Regional meet, Saturday, Nov. 16 in Memphis, Tenn.