Athletics

November 14, 2017
The Lees-McRae cheerleading team will host a fall cheerleading clinic on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Student Recreation Complex from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
October 25, 2017
With 1,153 activities logged, Lees-McRae College students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members hiked, biked and explored their way to second place in the division I Southeast region and 21st place overall in the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge.
October 09, 2017
Since its start on Sept. 18, Lees-McRae College students, faculty, staff and alumni have logged more than 900 total adventures for the chance at prizes and the ultimate title of “National Outdoor Champion.”
September 22, 2017
Beginning on Monday, Sept. 25, campus will buzz with spirit, excitement and activities brought to you in a way that only Spirit Week and Homecoming can.
September 19, 2017
Ally Murphy no longer has that constant sense of urgency she once had. It wasn’t because she gave up one day, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
September 15, 2017
Get ready, because starting Monday, Sept. 18, Lees-McRae College Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge participants can begin logging their activities in the Campus Challenge app.
September 12, 2017
In an increase from last year’s No. 23 spot, Lees-McRae College landed at No. 19 as best regional college in the South in addition to a spot on the “Best Value School” list in the newest evaluation released by U.S. News & World Report.
September 11, 2017
As the East Coast regional manager for USA Cycling and former Lees-McRae Cycling Team member, Stuart Lamp's passion for the sport runs deep. Previously a professional cyclist for nine years, Lamp will bring his passion to his hometown of Decatur, Alabama.
September 01, 2017
Hiking, kayaking, backpacking, bicycling and even bird-watching–just a few of the activities Lees-McRae students, faculty, staff, alumni and the local community will be participating in from Sept. 18 through Oct. 15 as they compete to win the fourth annual Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge.
August 31, 2017
Williams Gymnasium on the campus of Lees-McRae kicked off its next big chapter during the Celebration and Preview event on Monday, August 28.
August 29, 2017
During the President’s Circle Summer Soirée event on August 21, Lees-McRae President Barry M. Buxton publicly announced The University Campaign for Lees-McRae.
August 07, 2017
We are Bobcats–Lees-McRae is our foundation, our home and where we are inspired to succeed–it is in all of us, and it is who we are.
August 04, 2017
Professional cyclists and former Lees-McRae Bobcats, Brent Bookwalter ’06 and Andrew Talansky, shared in a recent VeloNews Q&A how their time in the collegiate ranks set them up for elite racing.
July 31, 2017
Lees-McRae President Barry M. Buxton announced that he will retire in May 2018 and that a search for his replacement has begun. Buxton has served as the president of Lees-McRae since June 1, 2010 and is the 15th president in the 116-year-history of the institution.
July 14, 2017
Defined for its “upward trajectory,” Lees-McRae College was named a College of Distinction within the prestigious North Carolina cohort.
June 14, 2017
On Tuesday, June 6, Conference Carolinas Commissioner, Dr. Alan Patterson, met with Lees-McRae President Dr. Barry M. Buxton on the campus of Lees-McRae College to discuss strategic planning and conference branding.
June 07, 2017
The Lees-McRae College Department of Athletics announced Friday that it will add men's and women's swimming and diving programs for the 2018-19 academic year.
May 24, 2017
Lees-McRae College's Director of Athletic Training and Senior Women's Administrator (SWA) Rita Smith was honored with the 'Legends of the Game' award Monday evening. This honor is given to administrators who have logged over 30 years of service at their institutions.
May 10, 2017
Dressed from head-to-toe in black satin regalia and anxiously awaiting with excitement, 334 students simmer in their seats, anticipating their designated time to approach the stage and receive their degree.
May 03, 2017
For many seniors, the end of a college career marks the start of a new chapter in life. Whether it is students from the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences, to the School of Arts, Humanities and Education, each corner of Lees-McRae has produced shining examples of what a degree from this college can do for you.
April 07, 2017
The college’s motto, “In the Mountains, Of the Mountains, For the Mountains,” is more than a way of thinking– it’s a way of action.
March 27, 2017
Lees-McRae will now go head-to-head against Tennessee-based school, Maryville College, after defeating Brevard College by nearly 900 votes in the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s Top Adventure College competition.
March 20, 2017
After winning the first bracket of the Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine Top Adventure College contest against Georgia-based Berry College by almost 1,000 votes, Lees-McRae is now in the second round against North Carolina-based Brevard College.
March 08, 2017
2017 marks Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s fifth “Top Adventure College” tournament and Lees-McRae is in the running.
February 01, 2017
Miles of single track, dual slalom and downhill courses only minutes from campus were just a few of the reasons why Lees-McRae received a top spot on Singletracks.com’s list of best colleges for mountain bikers.
January 06, 2017
If you thought something looked different in the Williams Gymnasium, you would be right. Since mid-December, crews have worked to install the gym’s new bleachers on both sides of the court.
December 22, 2016
Entries were submitted from across the country, but now the results are in. On Dec. 21, the NCAA announced Lees-McRae’s ‘Lunch Buddy Program’ as the Conference Carolinas representative and finalist for the 2017 Division II Award of Excellence.
December 02, 2016
Several dozen students sat on the curb outside Banner Elk Elementary School Thursday afternoon waiting for the arrival of the Lees-McRae cycling team with books stuffed in their backpacks.
November 29, 2016
Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Lees-McRae with a Silver Bicycle Friendly University (BFUSM) award, joining more than 150 visionary colleges and universities from across the country.
November 22, 2016
You may have heard about Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but have you heard about Giving Tuesday? On Tuesday, November 29, hundreds of colleges, universities, organizations, companies and even individuals will participate in Giving Tuesday—a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.
November 04, 2016
Competing—and winning—is in the blood of the cycling team and in its athletes. During the Mountain Bike National Championships in Snowshoe, West Virginia, on October 21 through the 23, USA Cycling officials crowned a pair of Lees-McRae National Champions.
October 26, 2016
Starting in the fall 2017 semester, five incoming Lees-McRae students will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship for their participation in eSports. An abbreviation for “electronic sports”, the genre includes any and all games played mostly on a computer, but for the incoming freshman class, the scholarships will be for League of Legends or Hearthstone.
October 14, 2016
Members of the campus community joined President Buxton Thursday, October 13 for a community bike ride. The ride was part of an effort to promote both Lees-McRae and the Town of Banner Elk as a “Bicycle Friendly Community”—a label presented by The League of American Bicyclists.
September 13, 2016
Lees-McRae College was named the No. 23 best regional college in the South, in a new evaluation released by U.S. News & World Report. Defined by the news site, regional colleges focus on the undergraduate experience and offer a broad range of programs in the liberal arts and professional fields such as nursing, education and business.
August 12, 2016
Lees-McRae College will hold its Convocation ceremony on Thursday, August 18 at 4 p.m. in Hayes Auditorium. Convocation is an important part of the academic tradition at Lees-McRae. Literally a 'coming together' of the College community, Convocation celebrates the beginning of the academic year and welcomes new and returning students to campus. Lees-McRae alumnus Hakim Bellamy ’02 will give the keynote address, “4000 Feet Above Average.” Bellamy will also be a poet in residence on campus August 17-18.
August 01, 2016
A Lees-McRae graduate will be among the elite athletes at the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio on Friday, August 5. Cyclist Brent Bookwalter will ride for Team USA with the U.S. men’s road team. “This has been a firm and ambitious goal of mine for the past couple of years,” says Bookwalter, who will compete in two events: the Road Race and the Time Trial.
June 10, 2016
Lees-McRae College was represented by Vice President of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail at the 2016 NCAA Career in Sports Forum in Indianapolis, Ind. last weekend. McPhail served as a panelist at the Forum, which consisted of over 200 current student-athletes and NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients with an interest in working within the sports industry.
June 09, 2016
NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas selected Dr. Barry M. Buxton as President at the organization’s spring meeting in Clemson, South Carolina. Conference Carolinas has 12 member colleges and universities in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The athletics conference promotes student-athletes and sportsmanship with a focus on academic rigor and performance.
May 12, 2016
33 Lees-McRae student-athletes were inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma North Carolina Beta Chapter, the organization announced Wednesday. “We’re extremely proud of the hard work and dedication these young men and women have put into earning this honor of being inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma, National College Athlete Honor Society,” said director of athletic compliance Jeffrey Merrill.
March 10, 2016
Lees-McRae senior Austin Anderson was named Conference Carolinas Men’s Basketball Player of the Year Saturday morning, the league office announced.
January 29, 2016
Professional cyclo-cross racer Ally Stacher knows what it takes to fuel a body for the pounding, punishing, calorie-sucking energy needed to ride at the highest levels in the sport.
January 26, 2016
On Jan. 11, Lees-McRae’s Avery Wallis, making his second career collegiate start, scored a career-high 13 points in a home win against Piedmont International.
January 25, 2016
145 Lees-McRae student-athletes were named to the Conference Carolinas Fall 2015 Presidential Honor Roll, the league office announced. Each semester recognition is given to student-athletes who achieve a grade-point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4-point scale. All student-athletes, including underclassmen, transfers, and those who play non-conference sponsored sports, are eligible for the recognition as long as they participated during the semester in question.
January 21, 2016
Due to Winter Storm Jonas, the Lees-McRae athletic schedules has been altered, announced Director of Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail Thursday morning.
January 14, 2016
The USCSA event hosted an event this past weekend at Beech Mountain Resort in Beech Mountain, N.C.
December 18, 2015
Lees-McRae senior James Abraham was named to the 2015 Division I and Division II Men's Scholar All-South Region Team, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced Tuesday evening.
October 21, 2015
Charles Singletary, also known by his stage name Charles DaBeast, released his debut album Patience in August after 10 months of writing and studio time.
October 21, 2015
The Bobcats completed their regular season in mountain bike at the SECCC Conference Championship at Clemson University this past weekend, and rode away with another team omnium championship title in Division I.
October 05, 2015
Bobcat Cycling Coach Tim Hall covers safety tips, proper technique, bike maintenance and more on Charlotte Today.
October 05, 2015
Lees-McRae College has implemented a tuition guarantee program for students beginning in fall 2016. As a testament to the College’s commitment to affordability, all students entering the 2016-17 academic year will be guaranteed the same rate of tuition for remaining academic years based on their classification as of fall 2016.
September 01, 2015
As higher education institutions continue to face stiff competition from both traditional and alternative learning programs, Lees-McRae College is pleased to report record enrollment growth for the 2015-16 academic year. Student numbers jumped 10%, from 940 in fall 2014 to 1,034 this fall.
August 31, 2015
The Lees-McRae athletic department is proud to announce the induction of Troy Brown, Shela Moffett-Fabri and Ally Stacher into the Lees-McRae Fred I. Dickerson Athletics Hall of Fame.
June 22, 2015
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has reaffirmed the accreditation of Lees-McRae College for 10 years. The reaffirmation was announced at a meeting of the SACSCOC Board of Trustees on June 11.
May 26, 2015
The Lees-McRae Cycling program finished sixth overall in USA Cycling National Division I Team Rankings for the entire 2014-15 season.
May 22, 2015
Lees-McRae College President Barry M. Buxton has been named vice president of NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas. The vice president serves on the executive committee and chairs the conference personnel committee, as well as acting on behalf of the conference when the president is unable to attend conference activities. Dr. Buxton will assume the role of president of Conference Carolinas at the conclusion of the 2016 spring conference meeting.
March 30, 2015
Thanks to generous donations and partnerships, Lees-McRae is pleased to announce plans to enhance Bobcat athletic facilities by adding three new venues to the existing athletic complex by fall 2015. Scheduled enhancements include the addition of a media room, indoor training facility, locker rooms, study lounge, and captain’s meeting room as well as remodeled bathrooms and shower facilities and a renovated student recreation center. These enhancements increase the existing athletic footprint by 10 percent and serve over 300 student-athletes participating in one of the College’s 19 athletic teams.
March 10, 2015
We all know that Lees-McRae is an outdoor enthusiasts' dream, and now it's time to prove it! Blue Ridge Outdoors is hosting a Top Adventure College Tournament and Lees-McRae is in the running. This contest will put Lees-McRae up against other colleges and universities in a head-to-head 32-school bracket. Large Division I schools will battle one side of the bracket while Lees-McRae battles against smaller schools on the other side. At the end of the contest, both division winners will compete for Top Adventure College glory.
February 11, 2015
Lees-McRae's senior class combined for 53 points while the men's basketball team made history by claiming their school-record 14th win in 86-78 fashion against Conference Carolinas foe Emmanuel (Ga.) Tuesday evening at Williams Gymnasium in Banner Elk, N.C.
January 20, 2015
Pity Kerry Shields. He’d filled an oversized van with gear and driven halfway across the country to watch his twin daughters compete for national championships in cyclocross bicycle racing. To be sure, it’s a niche sport followed mostly by the riders, their friends and families and hardcore spokeheads. The crowds that turned up to watch in a muddy city park in Austin, Texas last weekend wouldn’t rival that found at an average high-school football game. Still, for the Shieldses – and their beleaguered father — it was the culmination of 10 years of hard work, a rare shot at being the best in the country in a sport they love.
January 14, 2015
Senior Emily Shields claimed the national title in the women's Division I cyclocross and the Lees-McRae cycling teams grabbed third overall in the Division I team omnium at the 2015 USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals in Austin, Texas.
October 30, 2014
Pinkbike.com featured several Lees-McRae riders in their coverage of the 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate MTB Nationals held on Beech Mountain October 24-26.
August 26, 2014
By Jay Schultz of Pinkbike We paid a visit to Lees-McRae College in downtown Banner Elk, to see if we could get some insight into secrets that lay behind these doors. What did we find out? We were told if we spilled the beans, it would be the last frame we'd ever take. Besides, no one showed us the secret hand shake.
May 13, 2014
Lees-McRae College conferred degrees upon 202 graduates during commencement exercises Saturday, May 10 inside Williams Gymnasium on the campus in Banner Elk.
May 05, 2014
Lees-McRae senior field athlete Evan Webb has been named the Conference Carolinas Men’s Field Performer of the Year, the conference announced Monday morning.
April 21, 2014
Lees-McRae senior Tyler Dunn has been named the Conference Carolinas Men’s Indoor Track & Field Winter Scholar Athlete of the Year, the conference office announced Monday morning.
April 11, 2014
On Thursday, April 10, Lees-McRae rolled up its sleeves and celebrated its 10th annual Mountain Day of Service. The day began with a kick-off in Evans Auditorium where participants received T-shirts and supplies. Throughout the day, groups spent time throughout campus working on projects such as painting, planting flowers, collecting recycling and giving the campus a good spring cleaning.
April 07, 2014
Former Lees-McRae student and current pro golfer Will MacKenzie was featured in an article by The New York Times which included an interview with Will and a timeline of his career on the PGA Tour.
April 04, 2014
Lees-McRae College is proud to announce that incoming freshman, Sam Pugh, has been named the winner of the 2nd annual Video Essay Scholarship Contest. As the winner, Pugh will receive a $2,000 annual scholarship that is renewable for up to four years as long as he maintains a 2.5 cumulative GPA.
March 18, 2014
Rita Smith, chair of the division of nursing and allied health, was featured in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association News Magazine in the January edition. Smith has been at Lees-McRae since 1983, where she started as an athletic trainer, assistant basketball and assistant tennis coach.
March 18, 2014
Lees-McRae freshman Treven Salminen has been named to the 2014 Finnish National Lacrosse Team for this summer's World Championships in Commerce City, Colo.
March 05, 2014
Lees-McRae senior Persephanie McRae won the women’s high jump while senior teammate Kortnie Curry finished second to pace the LMC Track & Field squads at the Conference Carolinas Indoor Track & Field Championship at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 19, 2014
Tusculum coach Richard Carrington and Lees-McRae coach Darry Thornton will stride toward each other and shake hands, establishing the contest as the first-ever between two black head coaches at the Division II level, and just the second known meeting in NCAA men's lacrosse history.
February 05, 2014
Other than being known for the place where current Unaka High School head coach Aaron Dugger stood out in the mid-2000s, Lees-McRae basketball has basically been irrelevant since making the move to NCAA Division II in the mid-1990s.
January 16, 2014
The Lees-McRae athletic department is proud to announce that 140 student-athletes have been named to the 2013 Fall Presidential Honor Roll, the conference office announced Wednesday afternoon.
January 14, 2014
The Lees-McRae cycling team finished third in the Division I Collegiate Cyclocross National Championship, while tallying 192 points. Senior Kerry Werner claimed his second consecutive individual title over the weekend on the men's side in Boulder, Colo.
January 13, 2014
Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C./Lees-McRae College) successfully defending his title as the Division I men's national champion after he completed his six-lap race in 47:26. Werner, who won this national title for third time today, turned five of his six laps in under eight minutes.
January 09, 2014
In January 2014, Lees-McRae College named Chris Parker as Director of Sports Information. Parker was most recently the Assistant Sports Information Director at Brevard College, a member of the South Atlantic Conference and a fellow NCAA Division II institution.
December 11, 2013
The Lees-McRae College women's cross country team has earned the Conference Carolinas Team Sportsmanship Award for the first time in program history, announced league officials Tuesday.
December 09, 2013
Lees-McRae College has been awarded the annual Alan Sharp Award for Conference Carolinas, marking the first time in the school’s history. For the 2011-12 academic year 93% of scholarship athletes graduated within six years of coming onto the Lees-McRae campus.
October 29, 2013
The Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals at Beech Mountain Resort got off to a snowy start on Oct. 24, but by the end the Lees-McRae Bobcats made it to the podium to take third place overall in the second national championship in the 2013 collegiate season. Nearly 350 students from 50 different colleges and universities were in attendance.
October 28, 2013
Kerry Werner (Birdsboro, Pa.) captured the individual omnium for the second time in his career as the Lees-McRae College cycling team placed a total of five riders on the individual omnium podiums en route to a third-place finish at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Natonal Championships at the Beech Mountain Ski Resort on Sunday.
October 17, 2013
Craig McPhail has been elevated to Vice President of Athletics and Club Sports at Lees-McRae College, announced College officials Tuesday. McPhail has served as Director of Athletics since 2009 and the athletic department has enjoyed a golden age of growth since then, including upgraded facilities and the reinstatement of the Fred I. Dickerson Hall of Fame banquet.
October 09, 2013
Where do you start? When a coach takes over a team that has lost 43 of its last 44 games dating back to 2010, what is his first move? Do you start from scratch – just burn the whole thing down and go from there? Or do you take what you've got and do your best? That was the dilemma facing Darry Thornton when he accepted the daunting task of reshaping the Lees-McRae (N.C.) College lacrosse team. Fresh off an 0-15 campaign in 2013 when the Bobcats were outscored 264-48, which computes to an average loss of 18-3, Lees-McRae had only 19 players returning and some pretty grim prospects.
October 05, 2013
The Lees-McRae College athletic department inducted three new members into the Fred I. Dickerson Hall of Fame on Friday evening, honoring its 2013 class of Jennifer Calderwood King ’01, Amanda Cook Sorrow ’02, and Ried Estus on a magical evening in McDonald Dining Hall on the Lees-McRae campus.
August 16, 2013
Lees-McRae College will hold its opening Convocation ceremony on Thursday August 22 at 3:30 p.m. in the Broyhill Theatre of Hayes Auditorium. Opening Convocation is an important part of the academic tradition at Lees-McRae. Literally a 'coming together' of the College community, Opening Convocation celebrates the beginning of the academic year and welcomes new and returning students to campus. 2012 Lees-McRae College Athletic Hall of Fame inductee and Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Tanger Properties, Elder Manuel Jessup ’76 will give the keynote address, “Holding On To Your Vision.”
July 23, 2013
Former Lees-McRae College standouts Brent Bookwalter '06 (BMC Racing) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) capped the 100th Tour de France in style on Sunday, sprinting to the finish on the Champs Elysees in the City of Light while living out their dreams of riding with the best in the world.
July 16, 2013
By Andrew Talansky, courtesy of Velo News (photo by Graham Watson) VAUCLUSE, France (VN) — If you looked at stage 14 of the Tour de France, on paper, you would have seen a lumpy day with some small hills, and nothing really of note. In reality, it was from it. Again, just as we had in the Pyrénées, our team had an inkling that something big could happen on this day. Sky had shown weakness the day before in the crosswinds and everyone had the same idea: a breakaway would go to the line and potentially take quite a bit of time in doing so.
July 11, 2013
The top American at this year's Tour de France is a rookie whose journey to cycling's pinnacle has been anything but ordinary. Andrew Talansky, 24, is in 24th place in his debut Tour, 13 minutes behind Chris Froome of Great Britain and 25 minutes ahead of the next American, Tejay van Garderen. But just three years ago, Talansky—who was born in New York and raised in Florida—was a no-name rider on a lower-level team in the U.S. domestic league. He had ambitions of racing at the Tour de France, and he got his big break on a snowy New Mexico mountaintop in the spring of 2010.
July 08, 2013
After the completion of nine stages, our Bobcat alumni Brent Bookwalter ’06 (BMC Racing) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp) are holding strong in 22nd and 85th place, respectively, as they welcome the first day of rest.
July 03, 2013
Lees-McRae is proud to support two former Bobcat cyclists as they ride in the Tour de France. Brent Bookwalter ’06 (BMC Racing) is making his third appearance in this historic race, while newcomer Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp) is making his first appearance. As of July 3, Bookwalter and Talansky are riding in 106th and 16th place, respectively.
July 02, 2013
Former Lees-McRae cyclists Brent Bookwalter ’06 (BMC Racing) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) are competing in the Tour de France. This is the third appearance for Bookwalter and first appearance for Talansky in this historic race.
June 28, 2013
Brent Bookwalter, who lives in Asheville with his wife, is a pro cyclist on Team BMC. And that means he is teammates with Cadel Evans, 2011 Tour de France champ. Bookwalter was on that team, and helped Evans to the win. There are only two American teams in the Tour this year – BMC and Garmin Sharp – and only six American riders, and Brent is one of them.
May 02, 2013
Great news! The summer camp registration deadline has been extended until Friday, May 17. Lees-McRae is offering a variety of summer camps for students who seek excitement both in and out of the classroom in a summer climate that is unrivaled. Whether they hit the bike trails or take to the stage, Lees-McRae has a camp for your child in a safe and enriching environment.
April 25, 2013
Lees-McRae is proud to announce that Tyler Nothstein, son of legendary Olympic cyclist, Marty Nothstein, has committed to riding for the Bobcat Cycling Team beginning the fall of 2013.