Sat, Sep. 1, 2012 - [Cross Country]
The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Cross Country teams traveled to Rome, Georgia this weekend to compete in the Berry College Invitational. The Cumberland men competed in the 8K event while the women's team competed in the 6K event, which for most of the girls was their first time ever as ladies usually compete in races at the 5K distance. Both the men and women opened up their seasons looking strong and confident in nearly perfect racing weather conditions. The men finished 2nd out of 15 scoring teams and the ladies finished 4th out of 14 scoring teams.
The gun was shot off at 10 A.M. as the men's 8K event took place. Leading nearly the entire first half of the race was senior Landon Hamilton (Andover, OH) who ran a time of 26:21 and ended up finishing second behind unattached runner Oscar Ogwaro who won with a time of 26:02.
Coming in as the Patriots number two runner was freshman Sam Meredith (Taylorsville, KY) who finished in 13th place with a time of 27:01. Third for the team was a UC transfer from Cincinnati Christian sophomore Jonathan Gears (Andover, OH) who had a phenomenal finish with a time of 27:29 passing a runner from Bryan College in the last 100 meters of the race earning 19th place. Finishing nearly directly behind Gears was Donnie Whyte (Miamisburg, OH) who finished in 21st place with a time of 27:32. Topping off the top five competitors for the men's team was freshman Josh Moon (Batavia, OH) who finished with an impressive time of 29:10 in 56th place. These top five Patriots scored a total of 95 points, which captured the runner-up team finish behind Southeastern Conference powerhouse Mississippi State University.
The next finisher to cross the line for the Patriots was sophomore Eric Phillips (New Castle, KY) who ran a time of 29:57 finishing in 68th place. Devin Edwards (Corbin, KY) finished next in 95th place with a time of 31:26, and following right behind Edwards was freshman Kevin Ross (Lexington, KY) who finished in 96th place with a time of 31:28. Brad Faulkner (Williamsburg, KY) finished out the Patriots line up with a 113th place finish and a time of 33:39.
Even though the ladies came to find that they were competing in a 6K race, there wasn't any hesitation for success. An hour following the start of the men's race, a second gun fired. Crossing the finish-line first for the Patriot ladies was senior Darcy Mascotti (Bellbrook, OH) who ran a time of 23:50 and had an extremely strong finish earning 8th overall out of 138 competitors. Mascotti's time earned her a school record in this event.
Behind Mascotti was sophomore Danielle Hoop (Owenton, KY) who finished in 16th place with a time of 24:17. Following Hoop was sophomore teammate Shelby Gibbons (Hamersville, OH) who finished with a time of 25:26 which put her in 40th place. Junior Christine Moon (Sardina, OH) followed with a finish in 46th place with a time of 26:05. Freshman Casey Richardson (Louisville, KY) made a great contribution to the team score as the Patriot's fifth runner by finishing a few strides behind Moon in 47th place finish with a time of 26:09. The Patriot ladies scored a total of 121 points, finishing 4th of 14 teams.
The next Patriot to cross the line was senior Jennifer Marcum (Springsboro, OH) finishing in 94th place with a time of 28:45. Sydney Freeman (Corbin, KY), Brittany Bloyd (Louisville, KY), and Rebekah Henderson (Nicholasville, KY), were the next three finishers for the Patriots with times of 29:48, 30:39, and 30:32 respectively, earning them spots at 106th, 111th, and 112th place. Completing the Patriots' team was junior Deana Gabbard (Mt. Vernon, KY) running a 34:37 finishing 130th.
Following the women's race was a brief awards ceremony in which the top 15 individuals from each race earned medals. Hamilton and Meredith of the men's team and Mascotti of the women's team earned these honors.
The Patriots Cross Country teams will compete again, in less than a week, on Friday, September 7th in Cincinnati, OH at the Queen City Invitational.
For more information on the Patriots' cross country programs and other Patriot athletics, visit http://www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article Provided by Danielle Hoop, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia and Athletic Services Student Assistant.