CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson took fourth place in the Furman Classic in both men’s and women’s cross country Saturday. The meet was held at the Paladins’ golf course. The Tiger women were paced by four runners inside the top 20 of the individual standings.
“I was very pleased with today’s efforts,” said coach Michael Porter. “We took another step forward as a program today. This was our second race-like effort. The student-athletes were able to learn more about how to run a race, along with controlling their individual efforts. They know we are focused on the bigger picture. We take these results in stride and know our best races are ahead of us.”
Grace Barnett once again was the leader of the women’s team, running a 6,000-meter time of 21:44.63. The junior has now led the Tigers in both of their first two meets to open the 2015 season.
Barnett was supported by a pack of three upperclassmen and a freshman. Evie Tate pushed across second from the Tigers’ lineup. The junior was 13th overall with a time of 21:55.36. Senior Brianna Feerst was 17th with a time of 22:40.58, followed by junior Catherine Herring — who was feeling under the weather Saturday — in 19th (22:15.81). Erin McLaughlin, a rookie from Califon, N.J., came home 36th after posting a time of 22:40.58.
“We were working on racing as a team, so the focus was not on maximum effort individually,” said Head Coach Mark Elliott. “Coach Porter has the group clued in on becoming a full team, not just individuals. From that standpoint, it was a great effort across the board.”
“The women had a great effort today,” Porter added. “Given the way they were made to start the race and the way they moved up late, I’m excited about where we are and where we’re going to be later this season. It’s always fun to watch the hard training that these ladies do, day in and day out, translate to the course.”
On the men’s side, James Quattlebaum once again brought home the top honors. The sophomore transfer was 21st overall, posting an 8K time of 25:14.70. Evan Abdullah (39th, 25:39.28) and Micah Williams (40th, 25:46.09) posted top-40 individual efforts. The Tigers’ final two scorers Saturday were Clayton Wilson in 42nd (25:50.10) and James Dwyer in 43rd (25:52.04).
“The men ran solid today,” Porter said. “They are better than we showed today. They executed perfectly the first part of the race, like I asked them too, but we were just too far back and out of the race. That falls on me; that was the result of a coaching mistake.
“Evan really stepped up today to be our second runner. He’s a redshirt junior that’s been through a lot individually as a runner to be on this level. He keeps working hard, does anything asked of him and is a great example for our six freshman to learn from.”
The Tigers return to action on Saturday, September 19 at the Commodore Classic in Nashville, Tenn.
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