The Emory men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Rhodes College Invitational at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tenn. on Sept. 21. Both teams fought valiantly against Division I and Division II teams and achieved 4th and 6th place on the men’s and women’s teams, respectively.

The men’s team excelled in the 8K race, finishing fourth out of 21 teams with 117 points. Junior Jack Whetstone led the Eagles with a 24:56 time that placed him 12th out of 151 runners. Sophomore Spencer Moore finished in second place amongst the Eagles and in 24th place overall with a time of 25:34. Right behind Moore was sophomore Brett Lucas, who concluded his day in 26th place, while junior John Cox and sophomore Jon Marcus finished in 32nd and 33rd place, respectively. 

Head Coach Linh Nguyen said he was happy with the outcome for the men’s team

“The men followed the game plan and as a result had a great race,” Nguyen said. “The game plan consisted of taking some risks and running as if we have nothing to lose.”

The University of Tulsa (Okla.), a Division I team, took home the men’s title with ease, as six of their runners finished in the top 10 of the event.

The Emory women obtained sixth place in the 6K race, with the four Division I teams — Tulsa, University of Cincinnati (Ohio), University of Memphis (Tenn.) and Arkansas State University — finishing ahead of them. Centre College (Ky.) finished in fifth place, besting the Eagles by eight points. 

Tulsa’s redshirt junior Caitlin Klopfer and sophomore Caroline Miller led the race with nearly identical times of 21:26.3 and 21:26.4. Emory junior Susie Martin finished first amongst the Eagles with a time of 22:07, putting her at 18th place of 182 runners. Freshmen Leah Clark and Shana Fitzmaurice finished in 35th and 53rd, respectively, while sophomore Bella Racette received 39th place. 

Though happy with the weekend, Nguyen said that the team approached the race as a challenge. 

“[The team] is training really hard,” Nguyen said. “This weekend was more a test of our fitness than what we are going to end up doing at the end of the year, so I am pleased with our performance.” 

The Eagles will be back in action at the Louisville Sports Commission Classic at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 5.