The Oglethorpe men's cross country team earned their best-ever conference finish Saturday at the SAA Cross Country Championships in Memphis, Tennessee, posting a second-place mark with 54 points for the meet. The Stormy Petrels came in with a total time of 2 hours, 13 minutes and 21 seconds on the 8-kilometer course, and averaged 26:41. They only finished behind nationally-ranked Rhodes, who had the top four individual finishers in the race, and beat third-place Berry by 19 points.
The Petrels were led by sophomore Jacob Hadden, who finished fifth with a time of 25:58.5, marking the highest finish by a Petrel at an SAA cross country championship meet. Freshman Hayden Guthrie also finished in the top 10, posting an eighth-place finish in 26:32.7. Sophomore Bill Lester had his second straight outstanding SAA meet, finishing 11th with a mark of 26:47.6. Junior Mateo Villa rounded out Oglethorpe's top 15 finishers with a time of 26:54.5, coming in 14th.
On the women's side, senior Kara Jones earned the first top 15 finish for an Oglethorpe women's runner in SAA history. She came in 15th with a time of 23:42.7 on the 6-kilometer course at Shelby Farms. Sophomore Reagan Goodwin finished 18th in 24:05.2, while freshman Gabby Huff-Streiter came in 27th with a mark of 24:51.0.
Rounding out the top-half finishers in the men's race, freshman Aidan Goldston served as the Petrels' final runner toward their final score, finishing fifth among Oglethorpe runners and 16th overall in 27:07.6. Senior Rodrigo Meade came in 24th with a mark of 27:41.3. Freshman Thomas Ridley posted a 26th-place finish in 27:42.7, sophomore Alex Araya finished 32nd with a mark of 28:05.2, and junior Nick Berardi came in 38th in 28:20.1.
The Petrels will next be in action on Saturday, Nov. 10, when they head to Mount Berry, Georgia, for the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional.