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Oct 18, 2019

Tigers Finish 3rd, Earn Eight Personal Bests at VertCross Invitational


Kernersville, N.C. – The Clemson cross country teams captured a pair of third-place team finishes at the VertCross Invitational Friday night. Between the two squads, the Tigers placed four individuals within the top-10 of the men’s and women’s races. Eight Clemson runners earned personal best times over their respective distances, with the women covering 6K and the men competing at 8K. An additional six athletes earned season bests.

“I think today was a great day. Both teams had solid performances,” said Head Coach Vicky Pounds. “The men, as a team, ran together the best they have all year, keeping the pack tight throughout the race. The women were solid, they didn’t give up throughout the race.”

Both squads showed strong pack running, with the women’s team seeing a 39.7-second spread between their top-5, while the men had a 37.8-second gap between their scoring five. Morgan Wittrock and Colt Griffith paced the women’s and men’s teams respectively. Wittrock and Griffith each slotted into the top spot for the first time this season, earning season bests in their effort.

The women’s team placed eight athletes within the top-30, competing amongst a field of 165 athletes. Liz Sauder and Jenna Gearing were the second and third runners, respectively, to cross the line for the Tigers, joining Wittrock in earning season bests with their results. Mikie Harris and Amelia Jones rounded out the scoring five for the Tigers, with Jones registering her fourth consecutive personal best this season. Andrea Foster logged the team’s largest personal best, improving her time by 54.5 seconds.

The men’s team displayed a strong pack from the gun, staying together through the race’s opening 4K. Griffith and John Ward, both juniors for the team, led the way through 5K. Griffith and Ward were two of the men to earn season best performances on the course. Jackson Leech continued an impressive freshman campaign with his 25:39 result, a 20.7-second improvement over his prior personal best. Marlin Young and Andrew Castano rounded out the top-5 for the Tigers, each earning a personal best in the process.

The Tigers now look ahead to the ACC Championships held in Blacksburg, Va. on Nov. 1. The trip to Blacksburg will be a return trip for the Tigers, with the team competing at the championship site earlier in the season when they raced at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational.