Troy cross country teams pick up wins at home in Dothan

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The Troy cross country team cruised to first-place finishes in both the men’s 8k and women’s 5k races at the Doc Anderson Wiregrass Invitational in Dothan.

The meet, which was hosted by the Trojans, featured Albany State and Tuskegee, both of whom could not keep up with Troy.

The men’s team was paced by an average time of 27:03.0, with the nearest competitor, Tuskegee, averaging more than two minutes behind. The women were just as dominant, finishing an average of two minutes ahead of Albany State at 20:43.4.

For the men, sophomore Brennan Garriques was the leader in Troy’s second win of the season, earning his first career first-place finish with a time of 26:22.5.

Fellow sophomore Daniel Glick followed up Garriques’ performance with a time of 26:32.0 and a second-place finish, while sophomore Bradley Dixon picked up third with his 26:58.3 time.

The Trojans claimed spots No. 1-7 in the individual rankings, and their lowest-placing runner finished 18th out of 22 individuals.

“Despite not having our best day, the men still found a way to win,” Head Coach Elliot Blount said. “I would have liked to see better execution, but we are pretty mature and resilient for such a young group. I don’t doubt that we will perform better at conference this season.”

In the women’s race, the Trojans were led by senior Samantha Smith, who followed up her performance at the JSU Foothills Invitational with a first-place finish and a time of 20:00.3. Of the runners in the top 10, eight were from Troy.

Finishing two spots behind her was freshman Katherine Lowe with a time of 20:34.0, while junior Sara Zylstra and freshman Erika Kulp finished in fifth and sixth places, respectively.

“We wanted to see improvement from our last home meet to this one, and we saw just that on the women’s side,” Blount said.  “Smith, Zylstra, Lowe and Kulp have been our most consistently competitive runners.

“This weekend we had an infusion of talent with (Mikayla) Hodges joining the lineup for the first time this year. She is not in her best shape, but her presence will lift our level of competitiveness and confidence heading into the Sun Belt Championships.”

The Trojans will use their experience on their home course in Dothan when they race in the Sun Belt Championships on Saturday, Oct. 29. The tournament will be held on the same course as Saturday’s race.

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