Cross country Head Coach Linh Nguyen split the team based on the previous meets’ times for two tournaments on Oct. 5: the Louisville Classic in Kentucky and the Jacksonville State University (JSU) Foothills Invitational in Oxford, Ala. In the Louisville Classic, the men’s team placed ninth out of 40 teams, while the women’s team placed 10th out of 38 teams. In the JSU Foothills Invitational, the men’s team placed 3rd out of 25 teams, while the women’s team was not able to receive a group score due to too few runners.
Nguyen split the teams due to caps on the amount of players he could bring to each tournament.
Located at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park, the Louisville Classic is known for its relatively flat course and large number of competing teams. The men’s team placed ninth out of 40 teams in the Silver 8K led by junior Jack Whetstone, who placed ninth out of 276 runners with a time of 24:40.
Whetstone appreciated the opportunity to practice on Louisville course as it will be used for Division III championships during the postseason.
“It was a nice, dry course,” Whetstone said. “Same course used for championships, so it was good to get a feel for it now.”
Other notable runners included sophomore Spencer Moore who finished in 30th place, junior John Cox who placed 54th and junior Matt Dillon who came in 65th place.
During the Silver 5K women’s race, an incorrect gate opening led runners to take different routes, skewing the length of the course. Because of this, the Louisville Classic recorded the winners based on their 3.9K time. Despite the change, the team still placed 12th out of 38 teams.
Nguyen was frustrated with the error.
“You can’t really take a split and use that as a result, but what can you do?” Nguyen said.
Junior Suzie Martin was the first Eagle to cross the finish line, placing ninth out of 253 runners with a time of 14:11. Sophomore Bella Racette came in 50th place, while freshman Leah Clark finished closely behind to take 53rd place. Junior Abby Durfee rounded out the Eagles, placing 94th, followed by freshman Shana Fitzmaurice in 95th place.
Meanwhile in Alabama, the other part of the team excelled in the JSU Foothills Invitational. In the 8K, junior Jacob Hedgepeth led Emory with a ninth place individual finish with a time of 26:31, and helped the Eagles finish in third place in the race.
The women’s team consisted of only three runners, which was not enough players to receive a team score. Junior Carrie McIntyre finished in 17th place in the 5K, while sophomore Eileen Laverty placed 47th and junior Michelle Ly came in 50th place out of 179 runners.
The Eagles will next run at the Berry Invitational at Berry College (Ga.) on Oct. 19.