Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams raced out to top-three team finishes in their season-opening meet at the Struts Season Opener in Oxford.
Friday’s meet, hosted by Jacksonville State, saw the Trojans leading the way in non-Power 5 schools in a field that featured Georgia Tech and Alabama. The men’s team secured second place in its 5k race, while the women finished in third.
For the men, junior Sawyer Sprung led the way for Troy with his seventh-place finish and a time of 15:31.20. One spot behind him was teammate and sophomore Bradley Dixon, who clocked in at 15:32.10.
Also placing in the top 20 were Troy’s Brennan Garriques and Brackin Stewart, who placed 13th and 14th, respectively. Sophomore Daniel Glick rounded out the top 20 with a time of 15:41.80.
Besides those five Trojans, the top 20 runners were made up of three from Alabama and 12 from overall winner Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets separated themselves from the competition by finishing an average of more than 15 seconds faster than the second-place Trojans.
In the women’s 4k race, Georgia Tech and Alabama led the way while Troy followed in third. The Trojans finished with an average time of 15:36.92, led by freshman Christie Caruana’s third-place finish.
Troy also snagged eighth and ninth places in the race from two other freshmen in Mackenzie Walsh and Kara Coulter, who rounded out the Trojans in another top 20 that was dominated by Alabama and Georgia Tech.
After their hot start, the Trojan cross country teams now look forward to a trip to Mobile to take part in the Azalea City Classic hosted by South Alabama. That meet will take place Friday, Sept. 8.