Charlotte, NC- On Friday the men's and women's Cross Country teams traveled to Charlotte NC to run the Queen City Invitational at legendary McAlpine Park. In the running community this is a popular course because it produces fast times for the runners. At this event, there were mostly D1 and D2 teams competing, with a handful of D3 teams fighting hard to show that they belong. The day started off hot with a high temperature of 91 degrees, which required the athletes to hydrate the day before.
The women finished in 34th place out of 39 teams, and beat 2 D2 teams and 3 NAIA teams.
The women race first and were led by freshman Cedara Franklin, who ran a personal record (PR) and NEW school 5K record of 22:15, and finished in 183rd place. Freshman Snejana Spinache finished with her best time of the reason of 24:24 (231st place), followed closely by Hayley Sheehan who ran 24:31 (235th place) and freshman Teanna Bellamy was near the previous 2 runners with a 25:03 time (242nd place). The final scoring runner was freshman Faith Kemboi who ran 30:11 (289th place).
"The women have kept improving this season and have plans of continuing to work hard as they all have high personal goals."
"The race was fast and hard," said Leonard. "What contributed to it being difficult was the heat and the amount of dust that was kicked up in the meet. Everyone was excited about the meet and walked away excited that they held their ground against the top teams on the east coast."
"Most of the runners that we raced against were on athletic scholarships, and it was thrilling to see our students who are on academic scholarships do well. It shows that we can do well and compete against any level if we recruit the right student athletes and train hard. I am excited about the future of our program as we are just in the beginning stages. We have some talented student athletes who are excited about being part of the foundation we have laid down."