The Oglethorpe cross country teams ran well at the Piedmont Invitational in Tallulah Falls, Georgia, Saturday morning. The men's team took second place at the event and freshman Nick Evans earned his first individual title, finishing in 28 minutes, 39.8 seconds on the 8-kilometer course and coming in around 30 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. The women's team had three runners, all of them finishing in the top 40, as freshman Hava Stenn led the squad with a 10th place finish on the 6-kilometer course in 25 minutes, 46.4 seconds.
Evans went off like a shot to start the race and never looked back, pulling away for a relatively easy victory over Nathan Galloway of Piedmont. His time set a new record for the Tallulah Falls course.
"Nick did a great job moving to the front of the race from the gun and taking over the lead early," said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse. "I was impressed to see such a young collegiate runner lead the race by himself and continue to push himself with nobody around. I cannot wait to see what he can do as the season winds down."
Meanwhile, the Petrels had two other racers finish in the top 10. Freshman Omari Miller came in seventh with a time of 29:36.4 while fellow freshman Mateo Villa finished ninth in 29:47.5. Freshman Nick Berardi finished 12th in 30:01.6, freshman Andrew Aycock came in 14th at 30:34.7, and freshman Jonathan Vernon posted a 15th place finish at 30:52.3.
On the women's side, Stenn came within 22 seconds of her own school record to earn a top 10 finish. Meanwhile, senior Sionna Hopkins finished 33rd at 28:49.1. Sophomore May Mizell came in 39th.
"I was very impressed with Hava's effort to go out hard and race with the front of the competition," said Shellhouse. "Her ability to hang-on with a very difficult and hilly course was truly awesome. We are going to continue to see big things out of her!"
"Overall I was very happy with today's results from the men's and women's distance teams," Shellhouse concluded. "I thought we competed well place-to-place against other teams and battled hard on a very hilly course. This team can do some very special things this year."
The Petrels will next be in action next weekend when they travel to Mount Berry, Georgia, for the Berry Invitational at 9 a.m. Saturday. That will be the team's final event before the SAA Championships at the end of the month.