Louisville, KY: The women’s and men’s cross-country team, coached by Brandon Arnold, traveled to Louisville to compete in one of the country’s largest and most prestigious meets, the Greater Louisville Classic. This was the second consecutive year an ALC team had competed in this race. There were actually six separate college meets, three each for the men and women, broken down by division, level, and time.
In the ‘College Blue” division, which was comprised of runners from all levels of NCAA, NAIA, and NCCAA squads, a staggering total of 533 women’s runners and 515 men’s runners comprised the field for the 5K (3.1 mile) women’s race and 8K (5 mile) men’s race. Alice Lloyd women’s competitors faced runners from 61 different colleges and the men’s competitors faced 56 different squads. This race was highly competitive and is one of the largest races in the country this year in terms of the number of competing teams.
The course was largely flat terrain with only a small slope in places and was made for good runners. Louisville frequently hosts the NCAA DI National Cross-Country Championship, so obviously, the Eagle runners were motivated to see how they stacked up against some of the finest runners from across the country, from all different levels, on a great course.
On the day, the Lady Eagles were led once more by their dynamic freshman Carlee Salyers, who finished the meet in a new school-record time of 19:29.5. Salyers lowered the old record by an impressive 1:07 and finished in 75th place out of the 533 participants.
Soon after, senior Rachel McCoy crossed the finish line in a time of 22:33. To complete the team’s top five were freshman Cara Acey (22:37), junior Morgan Arthur (23:09), and sophomore Hannah Bryant (23:50). Additionally, sophomores Brooke Vanover (24:26) and Abigail Webb (24:51) both lowered the times they ran in last year’s meet. Junior Kristin McCoy (25:02) ran a spirited race as well. The club would finish 54th out of 61 teams, defeating two conference foes in the process.
In the men’s event, Alex Lewis ran very well and set a personal record of his own at 27:57. Freshman Jeremy Benjamin set a PR of his own with a time of 30:23 while fellow freshman Bryson Sargent (33:38) and sophomore Austin Lee (34:03) performed well also.
The team will next compete in the Asbury Invitational on Saturday, October 26th. The start of the race is scheduled for 11:00 am. Both the men’s and women’s teams look to impress after a two-week break in the schedule.