ANDERSON, S.C. – Following a three-week layoff, the Anderson University men's and women's cross country teams are set for a return to Spartanburg, S.C., and the Milliken Research Center course for Saturday's USC Upstate Invitational.
The women's 5K race is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with the men's 8K race tentatively slated for a 9:45 a.m. start.
Saturday morning will mark AU's second time on the Milliken Research Center course this season and the Trojans' second appearance at the Upstate Invitational in three seasons.
The Trojans will be competing in a 15-team field with a combination of NCAA Division I and Division II squads, including Appalachian State, Campbell, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Lander, Mercer, Newberry, UNC Wilmington, the host Spartans, Western Carolina, Winthrop and Wofford.
The Trojan women placed five runners in the top-10 and finished first among non-NCAA Division I teams last year. Haylee Love paced AU with a fifth-place finish, while Abigail Bozarth crossed the line in eighth place. Alex Dixon finished ninth, with Martha Coleman and Maddie Buddenberg finishing 11th and 13th, respectively.
In their last appearance on the Milliken course, the women's team claimed the top four spots and five of the top seven slots en route to winning the USC Upstate Eye Opener. Love won the 5K event, while Junior Allyson Malone finished second. Coleman was less than 11 seconds behind her career-best time and claimed third place, with freshman Olivia Evans bringing home fourth place.
Bozarth finished seventh, while Buddenberg claimed ninth place. Freshman Olivia Rish crossed the line in 11th place, with Dixon taking 14th place. Freshman Hannah Beach and sophomore Morgan Bridges were 15th and 16th, respectively. Senior Hannah Sanford finished in 18th place, while sophomore Breck Jones was 20th among D-II runners.
Freshman Lydia Gambrel claimed 25th and classmate Joellen Palzer finished 28th. Senior Emily Pitts was 30th, while freshman Katherine Lewis was 34th. Sophomore Emily Olson posted a career-best time and claimed 35th place, with freshman Natalie Ardis rounding out the Trojan contingent in 40th place.
Competing against four other NCAA Division II teams and four Division I schools, the Trojan men's squad finished second behind Augusta, but ahead of Emmanuel, Limestone and Lander in the 8K event.
Newcomers led the way for the Black and Gold, as freshman Weston Hutto finished fifth among D-II runners. Classmate Ben Clark was just behind in sixth place, with freshman Joey Teachout claiming ninth place. Fellow freshman Phillip Quillen finished 11th.
Freshman Ian Yates was 15th, with sophomore Luke Horne finishing 16th. Freshman Riley Dixon and senior John Drummond were 19th and 22nd, respectively. The freshman duo of Hayden Tuten and David Rolon claimed 24th and 27th, respectively among D-II runners.