/Cross country team gets third place in the South Alabama Opener

Cross country team gets third place in the South Alabama Opener

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Wally Pendergrass

Staff Writer

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams finished third at the South Alabama Opener on Friday, Aug. 29.

The Trojans were competing against the Auburn Tigers and the South Alabama Jaguars.

According to results on usajaguars.com, sophomore Mikayla Hodges finished eighth with a time of 15:28.38, which was a new personal record, and fellow sophomore Samantha Smith finished 12th with a time of 15:56.51. Sophomore Marsel Mosley and freshman Sara Zylstra also posted top 20 finishes, placing 17th and 18th, respectively.

The women’s event was a 4K race, and the Trojans finished third with 69 points. The women had a combined time of 1:20:58.34, which makes an average of 16:11.67.

“We didn’t match the intensity of our competitors,” cross country coach Elliott Blount said. “Auburn is a very good team, and South Alabama was a bit more prepared today. Once we get everyone firing on all cylinders, we will be fine.”

Freshman Dylan Ogburn had the best finish for the Trojans in the men’s 6K race.  Ogburn finished 18th with a time of 20:23.25. Freshman Joe Giese finished 19th with a time of 20:54.64.

The men’s team finished third with 83 points and had a combined time of 1:45:18.14, for an average of 21:03.63. Five Trojans finished 21st through 25th and were separated by only 36.1 seconds.

“The men are very young,” Blount said. “We need to learn how to compete. Some of them did, but the others did not. If we want to take the next step, it’s important that we answer the bell when the gun goes off.”

The Trojans will return to Mobile on Sept. 12, runnng in the Azalea City Classic.