Cross Country: Men and Women shine in Charlottesville

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Courtesy Photo / Tribe Athletics

Friday, Sept. 27 at the Panorama Farms Invitational, William and Mary placed 11th overall for the women, led by redshirt-junior Liv Paxton, who finished 31st. Coming into the meet, the Tribe was coming off a dominant performance at home two weeks ago in the William and Mary Invitational. However, this week provided a jump in competition, and the Tribe seemed ready for the task.

In her first career race over five kilometers, freshman Emma Rogers placed 44th overall in a time of 22:09.9. Rogers continued to build on an already impressive season just three races into her collegiate career. Behind her was junior Lauren Finikiotis who placed 54th in 22:27.5. Not too far behind was graduate student Rachel Snyder and sophomore Taylor Jones, finishing in 22:55.2 and 23:03.4, respectively. Rounding out the top-seven for the Tribe was freshman Megan Dougherty, finishing 103rd.

Those were not the only remarkable performances of the race, though. As a team, the Tribe finished ahead of Richmond, who currently sit eighth in the Southeast Region. It looks as if the Tribe will be a prime contender heading into the later parts of the season. For its next race, William and Mary will head north to Penn State October 18. That meet will feature several top teams from across the Southeast Region, as well as the rest of the country.

On the men’s side, senior JP Trojan led the way as the men placed eighth in the fifteen-team field. Trojan finished second overall, posting a new personal best along the way in 24:08.1. That time is now the top time in the Colonial Athletic Association this season, and Trojan looks to be the favorite in the conference as the Tribe looks ahead to the end of the season. Finishing behind him was junior Spencer Tsai who crossed the line in 24:48.9, good enough for 26th overall. The Oregon native has been the Tribe’s pivotal No. 2 runner all season. Redshirt sophomore and reigning CAA track and field rookie of the year Evan Goodell finished 58th in 25:26.1 while senior Cooper Leslie crossed the line three seconds later. Redshirt sophomore Jack Mackey rounded out the scoring for the Tribe in 75th place with a time of 25:51.2.

The 11th-ranked Tribe men beat contenders Florida and Bucknell handily and seems to be gaining momentum as the season ramps up. Coming into Friday, the team had not lost a meet this season. The second-ranked Virginia team captured the title on its home course with a dominant score of just 35 points. While the Cavaliers may be a force to be reckoned with, the College finished close behind a pair of Southeast region opponents, Liberty and Kentucky.

Up next, the men also head to Penn State the 18th of October for the Penn State National Meet. The Tribe will again face off against grueling competition as it prepares for the championship season. Action kicks off at 11:30 the morning of the 18th. After that, all eyes will be on New Market, Virginia November 2nd, when the College faces off against the rest of the CAA in the conference championships. The Tribe will look to continue its string of dominance in this year’s iteration.