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Cross Country - Fri, Sep. 8, 2017

Georgetown College women's and men's cross country teams opened the season by seeing how they stack up against Mid-South Conference foes at the championship site. The 2017 season looks bright for the women, while the men's future overall looks exciting.

"This is a great start all the way around for this season," said GC coach Lucas Garnett. "This is the deepest women's team we have had in a few years and that depth helped us today."

Lucy Berlanga paced the Tigers despite battling some breathing issues throughout the race. The senior dropped from a top 10 position but she preserved and rallied late for a 14th place finish in 21 minutes four seconds and five tenths of a second. One of the competitors she passed was Liz Scarlato. The freshman kept pace with the senior though and finished in 15th in 21:14.09.

All five scoring runners for the women finished in the Top 20 runners, while the top six Tigers all crossed in 21 minutes.

Sutton Godar and Jodie Smith were 17th and 18th respectively in 21:40.6 and 21:42.9. Tori Hafner rounded out the scorers in 20th, crossing in 21:55.4. This just edged teammate Karina Egger in 21st in 21:56.1.

"We had a less than 60 second gap from first to sixth and this really excited me." Garnett said. "Even though our sixth finisher does not count towards team score, she does displace other team's runners and causes them to score more points. This should be a huge benefit for our ladies this season."

GC tallied 84 points, just seven behind Lindsey Wilson College. Shawnee State University had four of the Top 5 finishers and the fifth scorer crossed in seventh for a total of 19 points.

Seven other Tigers were on the course. Mary Lou Loxley, Jessica Smith, Charity Stoltz, Kater Riddle, Sarah Wiseman, Courtney Lee and Jenny Wilson gave Garnett 13 runners in the mix – quite possibly the largest female presence on a course in a while.

"It's great to see that many out there," Garnett said. "It pushes them in practice and gives all these amazing athletes goals to shoot for every week. I am very pleased with how this first meet went."

The third-year coach is equally excited about what he witnessed on the men's side. With two of his top harriers out, Garnett needed a great showing from his rookies. He got just that as four finished in the scoring five for GC.

Justin Tavner finished his first collegiate meet, leading the Orange & Black with a 15th place finish as he crossed in 16:40.5, a new personal best. Freshman Wesley Qualls was next in 22nd with a time of 17:45.7, just a few seconds shy of a personal best mark. The lone veteran scorer was junior Ben Peterson, who crossed in 18:01.1 for 24th. Ethan DeRossett was 25th in 18:23.3, setting a new best time by 20 seconds. Blake Borwig rounded out the scorers in 26th with a time of 19:19.5. Grant Carr, 27th, and Erick Mills, 28th, rounded out the top seven with Cody Cooper just five seconds behind Mills.

"When two of your top runners are out, it can be difficult to adjust," Garnett said. "However, I loved the energy everyone brought and it's very promising to see the freshmen grab such a prominent role with such strong finishes. This gives them confidence as we enter practices next week and the upside is boundless if they keep on this track."

Georgetown is looking to once again run a meet in Berea this coming weekend. Women's race is set for 10 am Saturday, with the men hitting the trail at 11 am.

 
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