The Oglethorpe cross country teams competed Saturday in their final meet before heading to Mississippi for the SAA Championships and put up a solid performance. The men finished 11th as a team with freshman Jonathan Vernon clocking in at 27 minutes, 28.1 seconds for the top individual performance by a Stormy Petrel, putting him in 44th place. The women's top individual performance came from freshman Hava Stenn, who finished 36th in the women's race at 24:41.3 and set a school record in the process.
The men came in 11th in the eight-kilometer race with a total time of 2 hours, 20 minutes and 26.5 seconds. The Petrels finished as the fifth-best Division III team at the meet, coming in behind Sewanee, Berry, Emory and Birmingham-Southern.
Vernon came in 44th for the Petrels, setting a new personal record and finishing with the fourth-best 8K time in school history. He finished 18th among Division III runners. Freshman Nick Evans finished 52nd and set a new personal record of his own at 27:38.5, also posting a top 10 time in school 8K annals, as well. Freshman Mateo Villa finished 57th at 27:48.3, setting a personal record of his own and also placing in the Oglethorpe all-time top 10, while fellow freshman Nick Berardi came in with his own personal record at 28:19.4.
"I'm very impressed with how the men went out there and competed today against great regional and conference opponents," said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse. "I thought we did a great job being aggressive, yet smart, early on and of competing well head-to-head throughout the race. Jonathan's race was truly impressive and to get three men with top 10 times in school history was a great way to end the regular season. We are all excited to see how we can perform during the next couple of championship meets."
On the women's side, Stenn's school record was also a personal best. She finished 16th among Division III competitors at the meet. Meanwhile, freshman Glenda Tutt also set a new personal record while posting the second-best six-kilometer time in Oglethorpe history, 25:31.2. She finished 58th at the meet.
"Hava and Glenda did an amazing job racing the competition at hand and hitting new personal records," said Shellhouse. "It is always nice to see them run tough early on and then hand on for the two top times in school history! We are very proud to have our freshman athletes lead our women's team. I'm looking forward to seeing what type of great things the women can accomplish in the upcoming championship season."
The Petrels will now take a week off before heading to Clinton, Mississippi, for the SAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 11 a.m. Eastern.