Cross Country Opens 2012 with Solid Performances at USC-Spartanburg's Eye Opener Invitational
September 2, 2012
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Pfeiffer University men’s and women’s cross country teams toed the line in Spartanburg to kick-off their 2012 season at USC-Upstate’s Eye Opener Invitational. With grueling temperatures in the mid-nineties, the Lady Falcons, refreshed with a strong freshman class, finished 15th, while the men, also backed by talented freshmen, finished 13th.
Despite injury troubles early on, the women’s team had a strong showing in their 5K race led by the four newcomers. Freshman Alex Crouch finished her first collegiate race leading the Falcons with a 21:03. Freshman Janna Featherstone crossed the line next with a 22:31, followed by freshman Cori Newton with a 23:00. Trista Byers, a fellow freshman, ran a 23:24. Junior Nina Ubabuike rounded out the scoring, running 27:39.
“With Serje and Mouravieva sidelined for the women, we lost a lot of leadership along with their scoring out on the course,” said head coach Scott Nolt. “Our freshmen girls have really stepped up in practice and this afternoon in a tough race.”
The men’s team was led by senior Will Oliver, who placed 29th out of over 200 runners in the 8K race with his time of 28:17. Freshman Brandon Garren ran a 30:11, followed by fellow classmate Alex Freeze with a 31:04. Freshman Nathan Jarman was close behind running a 31:27. Junior Cody Jones finished the scoring coming in at 31:31. Junior Cody Bivens (32:00) and sophomore Joseph Sutlive (32:20) closed out the top seven for the day. Nicholas Mabry debuted for Pfeiffer with a time of 33:39 and junior Fred Travis ran a 34:54.
“We had great contributions from our freshmen men running their first collegiate 8K today, especially Garren, Freeze and Jarmen,” Nolt stated. “And the three guys that ran the race last year ran between 1:00 and 1:40 faster.”
With both, exceptional improvements from returners and promising showings from newcomers, the Falcons look forward to their next meet at UNC-Wilmington’s Seahawk Invitational on Thursday, September 6th.