SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Paced by sophomore Melea Sangl's first-place finish, the Anderson women's cross country team opened the season by winning the Converse Kickoff Classic, which was hosted by the Valkyries Friday evening on the Milliken Research Center course.
"The heat definitely played a factor during the women's race, so the times were not anything to get overly excited about, but the girls showed toughness in battling the conditions and ran within themselves," said Anderson head coach Kevin Eagle. "Our goal was to run controlled due to conditions and close hard. We are really excited to see what this group can do come November."
Sangl crossed the finish line in a personal-best time of 19:37.46 over the 5k course, which was nearly 16 seconds in front of her closest competitor. Junior Olivia Evans finished in fourth place in a time of 20:00.11, with freshman Rebecca Ward (20:06.27) claiming fifth place.
Junior Hannah Beach crossed the finish line in 10th place in a time of 20:37.32, while senior Kelsey Horner posted a time of 20:49.16 and finished in 11th place. Freshman Aubrey Stoddard finished 15th in a time of 21:25.05, while sophomore Kamryn Osterbind finished 19th in a time of 21:49.63.
Juniors Lydia Gambrel (23:05.44) and Natalie Ardis (23:28.61) finished 36th and 41st, respectively, while senior Emily Olson was 45th in a time of 23:49.04. Freshman Olivia Growe finished 59th in a time of 25:45.67 in her collegiate debut, with freshman Lydia Johnson (28:14.06) rounding out the Trojan contingent in 73rd place.
Anderson will get back on the course next Saturday at Florida's Mountain Dew Invitational.