Cross country teams compete in Tuscaloosa

(PHOTO/April Irvin)
(PHOTO/April Irvin)
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Taylor Boydstun

Staff Writer

The Troy cross-country teams competed at the Harry Pritchett Running Park in Tuscaloosa on Friday, Oct. 16, at the University of Alabama’s Crimson Classic.

The meet was the last of the Trojans’ regular season schedule before heading into Sun Belt competition.

The Trojans accomplished several breakthrough performances at this event. Yet again, the men’s team was led by underclassmen. The first five runners for Troy were freshmen.

In his third collegiate meet, freshman Kyle Norris beat freshman teammate Brennan Garriques for the top spot and led the Trojan men with a personal best 8K time of 26:38.72.

Although he finished first of the Troy men in the last three races, Garriques finished second this time, ending with a time of 27:16.52.

Zachary Bias completed the course shortly behind at 27:25.69, rounding off Troy’s top three male runners.

The women also had several noteworthy improvements.

Sophomore Sarah Zylstra ran her second consecutive race as the first of Troy’s women, finishing under 19 minutes in the women’s 5K race.

Just a few seconds behind came senior Julia Ostendorf with a time of 19:00.25, and rounding out the top three Troy women was junior Samantha Smith with a personal best of 19:14.8.

“On the women’s side, with the exception of a few, we competed well,” said cross-country head coach Elliott Blount. “The results reflect just how small our margin of error is and the importance of everyone’s role in the team’s overall performance.

“With the men, I’ll have to look back at the training to try and see if there are clues there for why we haven’t been able to put it together. It’s my job as the coach to get these guys ready in two weeks’ time.”

The Trojans are set to race again at the Sun Belt Conference Cross Country Championships on Sunday, Nov. 1, at Nash Battlefield Farm in Atlanta.