ANDERSON, S.C. – Fresh off a pair of wins at last week's season-opening Converse Kickoff Classic, the Anderson University cross country teams are readying for a trip to Gainesville, Fla., for the 2019 Mountain Dew Cross Country Invitational. The Gators are hosting the event at the University of Florida Golf Course, Saturday morning.
The men's 8k race is slated for a 7:55 a.m. start, with the women's 5k race set for 8:30 a.m.
The Trojans are competing in Gainesville for the first time, with the men's team among a mix of 34 schools vying for the championship, while the women's side will feature 36 teams on the course.
The Trojan women, who were ranked third in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) DII Preseason Regional Rankings, placed five runners among the top-11 finishers a week ago in Spartanburg, S.C. Sophomore standout Melea Sangl posted a personal-best time over the 5k course en route to winning the event, while junior Olivia Evans finished fourth. Freshman Rebecca Ward claimed fifth place, with junior Hannah Beach crossing the finish line in 10th place.
Senior Kelsey Horner finished in 11th place, while freshman Aubrey Stoddard finished 15th. Sophomore Kamryn Osterbind finished 19th, with juniors Lydia Gambrel and Natalie Ardis finishing 36th and 41st, respectively. Senior Emily Olson was 45th, freshman Olivia Growe finished 59th and classmate Lydia Johnson rounded out the Trojan contingent in 73rd place.
The Trojan men also posted a successful season debut, with 10 runners finishing in the top 12 spots.
Senior transfer Ty Gleason led AU to the title with a second-place finish. Another newcomer, Daniel Similton finished third, while freshman Michael Burgess claimed fourth place. Sophomore Noah McLain brought home fifth place.
Junior Ben Clark finished sixth, with freshman Noah Brock crossing the finish line in seventh place. Juniors Phillip Quillen and Joey Teachout were eighth and ninth, respectively, while junior Matthew Burgess finished 11th. Sophomore Thomas Sutcliffe claimed 12th place and junior Cameron Owens-Hunter finished 29th.