CHATTANOOGA — The Lee University cross-country teams opened their 2013 seasons at the PowerAde Invitational Friday evening at Moccasin Bend.
The Lady Flames placed first out of three teams in the two-mile run, while the Flames finished third out of five in the 5k open race.
“Our women raced in very tough conditions today,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “We were not really concerned about their times. They looked great against a very strong Shorter team. This was a fun opener for us, because we do not get to race close to home often. We had a good crowd of Lee fans.”
Finishing second behind Lee was Shorter University with Auburn University at Montgomery taking third.
Jessica Childers, Ashley Matthews and Cayce Bryan gave Lee three runners in the top eight. Childers placed sixth (12:33.80), Matthews was seventh (12:34.01) and Bryan crossed the finish line in eighth (12:49.55).
Freshman Rachel Riel finished 11th at 12:57.06. Victoria Yates and Alexis Hewitt had times of 13:13.87 (16th) and 13:22.02 (17th).
Emily Arnesen was 22nd (13:41.69), Elizabeth Sillcocks (13:47.07) finished 24th and in 25th was Emily Bryan (13:50.50).
Lee’s final three finishers were Rachel Waltz (28th, 14:38.21), Storyie Miller (29th, 14:52.76) and Emily Carden (36th, 15:30.86).
In the men’s race, Shorter placed first with Bryan College (ranked No. 7 in the NAIA) second. Dalton State College was fourth and Auburn University at Montgomery finished fifth.
“This was a good start to our season,” said Lee head coach Caleb Morgan. “Times were not very fast today with the hotter temperatures. “
Seth Ruhling shaved 20 seconds off his personal record to finish fourth with a time of 16:27.31. The freshman was the only non-Shorter runner in the top five.
Terris Elliott was the second Lee runner across the finish line. Elliott posted a time of 16:41.94 to earn 11th place.
Camden Perez and Joseph Crook were 14th and 15th, respectively. Perez had a time of 16:53.18 and Crook was six seconds behind at 16:59.34.
Emmanuel Kipchumba was 25th (17:34.64), Adam Gullette finished 26th (17:37.12) and Keenen Hindes was 29th (18:02.80).
“We are a very young team,” added Morgan. “We will see big gains from week to week out of this group of athletes. We are looking forward to bumping up to the 8k distance next week.”
The Flames and Lady Flames will head to Nashville on September 14 to take part in the Vanderbilt Classic.