William and Mary travelled to Richmond, Virginia Aug. 31 to participate in the season-opening Richmond Spider Alumni Open. Keeping in line with its past performances, the College showed strongly in the Open with the men topping the podium and the women taking second in their respective events.
For the men, who ran five kilometers, redshirt junior JP Trojan led the way in the event, taking first place amongst runners for the third year in a row with a time of 15:10.9. Junior Spencer Tsai was third overall in the event with an overall 15:20.2, having improved one spot compared to last year, and senior Cooper Leslie ran 15:23.0 to take fourth overall.
For Trojan, he is the first runner to win the Spider Alumni Open three times in a row since Richmond’s Kevin Rhue took that honor from 2002-2004. As of now, the College has now won the team title at the event for four straight years. Overall, the Tribe has taken seven team titles since 2010, more so than any other college since team scoring began in 2004.
For the women, who ran two miles, junior Lauren Finikiotis took fourth overall in 11:23.2 while redshirt junior Liv Paxton was behind her with 11:24.6 for fifth place overall. Lagging right behind was freshman Emma Rogers in eighth place with 11:38.8 in her collegiate debut.
In particular, the College had the best group running, having led all teams with the lowest time from its first runner to its fifth (19.7), and from first to seventh (26.5). Of the six runners that participated before in this event, all of them were able to improve over the last year comparatively. Redshirt sophomore Julia Lambert dropped the most time of all runners, improving by 44.2 seconds since las year.
The Tribe will begin the regular season at home in two weeks, hosting the 60th Annual W&M Cross Country Invitational Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14. The men will race the college men’s race Friday at 6:45 p.m. and the women will race the college women’s race Friday night at 6:15 p.m. The College’s teams will race on the Dunbar Farms Course on the grounds of Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Virginia.