The Trojans competed Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Mountain Dew Invitational, which was hosted by the University of Florida.
The race took place on the university’s Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Florida, where forty teams competed. The men’s team began the day with an 8K race at 7:55 a.m., and the women’s 5K took place shortly after. Both teams competed in the “University” section and were scored against Division I teams.
Of the 85 runners in the Division I scoring for men, six of them were Trojans. Freshman Brennan Garriques finished first of the Trojans, with a time of 26:32.15, placing him 27th overall. Following immediately behind him in 28th was Troy sophomore Dylan Ogburn.
Thirty-two seconds later, freshman Kyle Norris placed 35th, finishing at 27:04.65. Freshman Zachary Bias finished 42nd, junior Timothy Bulger finished in 53rd place, and finally, freshman Austin Gray finished 56th.
“Our men will be fine once we get everyone rolling at the same time,” said head coach Elliot Blount, regarding the unusually small number of runners that competed. “We saw some huge improvement from a few runners. We are very young with a lot to learn.”
The men’s team took fourth place overall, with North Florida winning first place in the invitational.
Florida women won first place in the women’s 5K, while the Trojans took tenth. Junior Mikayla Hodges led the Troy women with a time of 18:59.55. Senior Julia Ostendorf followed twelve seconds behind.
“On the women’s side we didn’t have the best day,” Blount said. “We need to become more consistent with our races. We’ll get some good training the next couple of weeks and hope to get back on track.”
Juniors Katrina Bokenfohr and Keaton Wallace finished with times of 20:47.99 and 20:58.76, respectively, while Naomi Sheppard and Sarah Zylstra finished five seconds apart later in the race. It was a tough meet, but according to Blount, his team is determined to improve for the future.
Both teams return to action on Saturday, Oct. 3, when they will participate in the JSU Foothills Invitational in Oxford.