Charlotte, NC: The Alice Lloyd College “Running Eagles” cross-country teams, coached by Brandon Arnold, traveled to North Carolina to compete in one of the east coast’s most prestigious meets, the Royals Invitational, hosted by Queens University. There were actually two separate college meets, broken down by division, level, and time.
In the ‘College Blue” division, which was made up of runners from various levels of NCAA, NAIA, and NCCAA schools, a total of 178 women’s runners and 188 men’s runners comprised the field for the 5K (3.1 miles) women’s race and 8K (5 miles) men’s race. The quality of the competition was impressive as Alice Lloyd women’s competitors faced runners from 24 different colleges and the men’s competitors faced 28 different squads.
After participating in one of the nation’s top races a week earlier in Louisville, the Eagle runners were motivated to see how they stacked up against some of the finest runners from across the East this time around. The Queen’s course was largely flat terrain and made for good speed. Unfortunately, a steady rain made the ground treacherous, so it would be a task just to keep from falling. Despite the sloppy field, the Caney Creek crew was impressive.
On the day for the women, they were led once more by Carlee Salyers, who finished the meet in 20:04, which earned her 19th place. Soon after, Suzann Moore (20:54) and Sara Cecil (20:55) crossed the finish line, as they completed the course in the 36th and 38th positions. Completing the team’s top five were Brooke Vanover (21:21), and Abigail Webb (21:32).
In addition, Hannah Bryant (22:53), Olivia Inskeep (23:31), and Kaitlyn Ratliff (23:50) all ran a spirited race as well. The club would finish 6th out of 24 teams and each lady ran either a season’s best or PR time.
In the men’s event, the Eagles fed off the ladies big showing to produce impressive results of their own. Veteran Ryan Morris was a force, as he blazed across the trail in the eye-popping time of 26:04 to finish in 11th place. His run shattered the former school record he owned by an astounding 1:19. Anthony Hildago ran an incredible race of his own as he also broke the old record and set a new personal record. He crossed the line in 26:47 and earned himself 30th place.
Owen Lindsey (28:02), and Micah Blankenship (29:41) were the next to cross, while Jacob Vanhook (31:10), was the fifth individual Eagle to finish.
In addition, Koby Proffitt (31:14), Jacob Bush (31:46), and Preston Mullins (36:19) gave a valiant effort as well. The club would finish 9th out of 24 teams and each man ran either a season’s best or PR time.
The squad will next compete in the Asbury University Chick-Fil-A Classic (KY) on Friday, October 15th.