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Georgetown College men's and women's cross country took on a very hilly course Saturday and came out near the top of the pack on each side. In a sport where you are only as strong as your weakest link, the Tigers are proving to be very tough.
On the men's side, they have been riddle by injury and illness but finished third at the Centre Invitational with most of the runners doing an 8k for Georgetown for the first time. The women were paced by sophomore Tayler Godar with the rest of the group forming a solid pack inside the top 15 runners for a solid second place finish.
"They ran really well today," said Tiger coach Todd McDaniel. "The course was tough. Sam Heaton ran Top 10 despite being sick and then we had Jacob (Hanser) ran a personal best.
"Our women are ridiculous. We had Tayler pushing for the lead most of the race with Mary (Jefferson), Miranda (Mullins), Grace Whitworth, Marissa (Hale) and Kristen (Just) in a tight pack also in the top finishers. That will be hard to beat as we get deeper into the season."
Cross country takes the times from the first five runners for a team score. The top five men crossed the line in under two minutes of each other. Heaton led with a 28 minute and 27 second time. Hanser crossed in 29:06, better his personal record by 44 seconds. Brandon Pulliam, despite having tendonitis in his knee, ran a 29:29. Nickolas Slucher crossed in 29:56 and Chris Bartlett finished in 30:20.
McDaniel was also pleased to see how Lane Ross, Logan Hull, Jawan Smith and Thomas Wells ran their first 8k.
"There were 13 hills on the 8k course," McDaniel said. "This was a really challenging course, but a great course to run early in the season for an extra workout. The 5k had eight hills and our women were running similar times to this past weekend that was a flat course."
Godar crossed in third on the women's side behind two Centre College runners. She finished in 19:44. Jefferson, 20:17, Whitworth, 20:18, and Mullins (20:31), crossed 10th, 11th and 12th respectively. Hale was the final scoring runner at 20:58.
"The top five finishers for the women were a minute and 13 seconds apart," McDaniel said. "That is phenomenal for this early in the season. Plus Grace and Kelsey (Gregory) were both running sick. This team has great potential and will be exciting to watch."
The Tigers hit the courses again this coming weekend at Cedarville.