Sept. 1, 2012
TROY, Ala. – Auburn cross country opened the 2012 season with a race win by Hunter Hayes and first-place finishes by both the men’s and women’s teams on Saturday at the Troy Invitational tri-meet with the host Trojans and South Alabama.
“I’m pleased with our performances today despite the really tough conditions,” Auburn cross country coach Mark Carroll said. “It was really hot out today, but we persevered and were successful. Even leaving a couple of our guys and girls that we will count on this year at home, we were able to pick up two wins. I’m looking forward to seeing our teams at the home meet next weekend.”
With temperatures soaring into the low 90’s and little-to-no wind, Carroll elected to leave his top returning male and female performers in Auburn. Despite the smaller squad, the Tigers still picked up wins in both the men’s and women’s events.
Junior Hunter Hayes (28:04.68) blazed his way to his first career race win in the men’s 8k. The Jacksonville, Fla. native was victorious after sprinting to a win in the final mile as he finished eight seconds ahead of South Alabama’s Patrick Rohr (28:12.67).
All six of Auburn’s men finished in the top 11 overall in the event. Jason Miller (28:50.82) and the returning James Swasey (29:34.38) were fourth and sixth overall, respectively. Jonathan Hardin finished ninth in 30:08.23 and Andrew Scott (30:21.29) was 10th to wrap up Auburn’s scorers.
In his first collegiate race, freshman Alex Main recorded a mark of 30:32.82 to finish in 11th place. The Auburn men finished with 30 points overall, ahead of South Alabama (42) and Troy (53).
In the women’s 5k run, freshman Taylor Duncan placed second and was Auburn’s top finisher. She recorded a mark of 20:42.44 in her first race as a Tiger. Also finishing in the top five were Samantha Berggren (4th, 20:57.95) and Sage Blackwell (5th, 20:58.57).
Next on the calendar for the Tigers is the lone home event of 2012, the Auburn Invitational, on Friday, September 7.