Aug 30, 2013
Troy, Ala. - The Auburn cross country teams opened the 2013 season with a first-place team finish on the men's side, while the women finished second Friday at the Trojan Invite hosted by Troy University.
Junior Francis Hernandez led the Tiger men with a first-place overall finish in the 5k run with a time of 16:10.62. Auburn had five top-10 finishers as Jason Miller finished fourth (16:41.84), Andrew Scott was fifth (16:46.90), Reid McClenny took ninth (17:07.46) and Hunter Hayes claimed 10th (17:07.81).
"To get a win in first meet of the season is a very positive start to season for our men," said head cross country coach Mark Carroll. "It was great to see Francis get his first win at Auburn. He looked strong and took control of the race from the start and never let up. We did a good job of pack running with five guys in the 10 ten with Jason, Andrew, Reid and Hunter all finishing in the top ten. It was a good confidence builder for him and the rest of the team as we prepare for the next meet in two week."
The men tallied 27 total points to claim the team title, outdistancing second place South Alabama who had 34 points. Troy (74 pts) was third followed by Alabama State (100).
In her first collegiate race, freshman Veronica Eder was the top Auburn women's finisher in the 3k race, taking third place in a time of 10:55.59. Fellow freshman Rachel Givens took fourth in 10:56.46 while Sage Blackwell finished 10th (11:09.90) Kristin Sheehan (11:22.34) finished 14th and Emily Stevens (11:32.18) was 20th to round out the Tigers' top-20 finishers.
"I was very impressed with our women and with Veronica and Rachel finishing third and fourth," Carroll said. "Veronica ran from the front and led through the first mile before getting caught, but overall she had a great run for a newcomer. Veronica and Rachel for freshmen had great starts to their college careers and overall for the team was a positive start to the season."
UAB won the women's team title with 31 points, followed by Auburn with 50. Georgia State was third (85 pts) and South Alabama (105 pts).
The Tigers will return to action in two weeks as they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to compete in the Mountain Dew Invite.
"We're excited about our next meet in two weeks in Gainesville," Carroll said. "It is where we will have an opportunity to preview the course that will host the SEC Meet later this season."
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