Cross country races in Mobile

Scott McLendon

Staff Writer

Troy’s cross-country teams rode south for their second meet of the season at the Azalea City Classic in Mobile this weekend.

The men’s team finished with three head-to-head victories in the 8k over Alabama State, Southeast Louisiana and host South Alabama.

“Our men did some things we haven’t done since I’ve been at Troy,” Head Coach Elliot Blount  said. “We put together two solid performances in consecutive showings as a team. The purpose of this meet was to sharpen up our race tactics and we did just that.”

Two Trojans finished in the top ten, with sophomore Bradley Dixon of St. Johns, Florida, placing seventh and Lake Mary, Florida native Ryan Degale taking 10th. The two finished 25:50.80 and 26:08.22, respectively.

In addition to Dixon and Degale, the Trojans had five other men finish in the top half of runners.

Senior and Sonora, California, native Samantha Smith snagged 11th place with a finish of 23:33.92. She finished with an average mile of 6:19.1.

The women’s team had two more top half finishes. Redshirt freshman Erika Kulp of Alabaster finished 17th with a time of 25:04.98, and Sara Zylstra, a junior from Huntington Beach, California, finished two places behind Kulp with a time of 25:10.22.

“Our women’s team is still doing a bit of identity search,” Blount said. “We have to put our fear aside, look within and just get back to basics. We are at a fork and have to decide which way we’ll take and this will determine how we compete next time out.”

The next competition for the Trojans will come on Saturday, Sept. 24, with their home opener at the Trojan XC Invitational in Dothan, Alabama.

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