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When it comes to outdoor sports, the elements play a factor. Saturday, in the Mid-South Conference Cross Country Preview Championship Meet, the heat in Bowling Green, Ky. the heat stole the show. With Georgetown College's men's team running its first 8,000 of the season, the oppressive humidity throughout the race could have been a deterrent.
"It was a brutal day and times were slow across the board for every athlete. Making me even more proud of what our guys accomplished today," said GC coach Luke Garnett. "We had competitors dropping out of the race left and right. A couple teams that started with enough to score, didn't have a team score because so many of their athletes dropped out.
"All our guys toughed it out and finished. With the conditions and it being the first 8k of the season, I am pleased with the times and results."
The Tigers finished fourth of the six teams that started the race. Several other schools did not even come to the meet due to the heat.
Dustin Wheeler continues to be the lead harrier for the men. He finished 23rd. Austin Snider was eight runners back. Ben Peterson, Grant Carr and Erick Mills rounded out the scoring runners as GC had its top five runners cross in the top 50 runners. Logan McNabb and Cody Cooper also ran and finished the difficult course.
The women ran first and took on their first 5,000 of the season. GC took second out of the six teams there.
"All our women ran better races this weekend even though the times were slower," Garnett said. "Julia Manning and Karina Egger continue to be our tone setters. They finished in the top 15."
Shawnee State University flexed its muscle with all five of its scoring runners finishing first through fifth and six of the top seven. Lindsey Wilson College's Nikki Coffey crossed in sixth and Manning took eighth in 20 minutes 43 seconds. Egger crossed in 13th in 21:39.
"When one team is able to stay together that much to have all five of the top runners and eight in the top 11, you have to tip your cap to that," Garnett said. "However, we were right there and putting runners in higher spots than all the other competition to secure second. We finished fifth this past fall so we've moved up three spots in this preview race.
"If we keep training and pushing ourselves, we have a great shot at doing some big things this year and come again in November at the conference championship meet."
A pair of freshmen were the third and fourth scoring runners for Georgetown. Sutton Godar and Tori Hafner finished back-to-back. Godar was 19th in 22:17 and Hafner 20th in 22:44.
"That was Tori's second fastest time of her career despite the heat," Garnett said.
Maddie Elder rounded out the scorers, crossing 29th in 23:20.
Mary Lou Loxley, Marissa Forrest, Kater Riddle, Courtney Lee and Jenny Wilson also finished the race for the women, giving the Tigers 100 percent completion rate on both teams.
"They all toughed it out and gave it what they had despite the less than ideal conditions," Garnett said. "I'll take that every time."
|(RV) Lindsey Wilson at||8:00pm|
|(4) Lindsey Wilson at||6:00pm|
|Cumberland Univ. at||4:00pm|
|(15) Cumberland Univ. at||2:00pm|
|(12) University of Pikeville at||8:00pm|
|(23) University of Pikeville at||6:00pm|
|(20) University of the Cumberlands at||4:00pm|
|University of the Cumberlands at||2:00pm|
|University of Maine at Fort Kent at||7:00pm|