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Georgetown College men's cross country team finished seventh overall Saturday at the Berea Invitational, but three of the schools above the guys were NCAA opponents.
"That is the way it works in cross country and track and field," said GC coach Todd McDaniel. "Most every meet or event is an open competition so you expect to see a wide variety out at something like this. What you try to do with something like this is focus on the guys performances individually and how we can improve upon that."
The Tigers had four of the five scorers finish inside the Top 50 in the race with 95 runners. Jacob Hanser led the way, finishing 17th in 28 minutes 58 seconds.
Tayler Godar finished 10 spots back, a mere 18.04 seconds, behind fellow Mid-South Conference competitor University of the Cumberlands' Danielle Hoop in her first race of the season. The Georgetown College men's and women's cross country team started the 2014 races with the Queen City meet in Cincinnati.
Her 19 minutes 36 seconds and seven hundredths of a second finish helped the Tigers to finish 11th out of 20 teams. They were two teams behind the Patriots, both of which are NCAA schools. The split between the top five scoring runners for GC was 2:47.80
When four of your top finishers were not even in the team's top five a season ago, finishing sixth is a solid base. Georgetown College men's cross country team had one lone runner, Sam Heaton, who was a scorer in the 2012 Mid-South Conference meet. Transfers and injuries depleted the foundation coach Todd McDaniel started a season ago, but he finished with more runners in the Top 30 this season.
Georgetown College men's cross country team looks to make noise Saturday morning in the Mid-South Conference meet, hoping to get some guys high enough to qualify for nationals in a few weeks.
Before the gun went off in Rio Grande, Ohio though, the Tigers flexed its brain muscle. GC tied Campbellsville University for the most All-Academic honorees – six. Peyton Anderson, Chris Bartlett, Brad Cundiff, Joe Durbin, Sam Heaton and Nick Slucher all earned a 3.25 or better and are sophomore or higher in class status.
Georgetown College women's cross country team has steadily been sending a message – watch out we are coming. With harrier Tayler Godar leading the way, the Tigers have been tracking the competition and improving every week. It is the pack-like mentality that has also helped them garner votes this past week in the NAIA Coaches' Poll.
"This is a fantastic group of runners and they all understand the true sense of team," said GC coach Todd McDaniel. "I knew they would eventually be in the rankings. They run so well together and know when to push a race or split up and push forward."