By Jeremiah Griffin |
Both the men and the women’s cross country teams performed well for Augusta University at the Queen City Invite on Friday, Sept. 27, with women’s runner Micah Weathers winning her race.
Meanwhile, the men collected the team victory at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C., leading the way among the 43 schools that competed in the meet. The Augusta women placed ninth out of 39 opponents in their 5K, but Weathers stole the show with a superb first-place finish in 18 minutes and 1 second, 12 seconds faster than the next best runner.
The Peach Belt Conference named the AU junior women’s cross country runner of the week. It was the second straight week the Statham, Ga., product has won the conference award.
“Micah was patient and picked a good time to make her move,” AU coach Adam Ward said. “She moved up from about seventh or eighth after the mile and picked competitors off one at a time and led for at least the last mile of the race, maybe a little bit before that.”
Weathers’ teammate McKenzie Knudsen finished 23rd in a field of 317.
Jacob Poston impressed for the men, finishing second overall with a time of 24:36 in the 8K, while five Jaguar runners, including Poston, finished in the top 10. Chase Kennedy was sixth, Hunter Kimball seventh and Kai Brickey was eighth. Teammate Hans Troyer finished 10th.
“It was very hot, but our folks ran very well,” Ward said.
Heat was a huge factor in performance level according to Ward. “[Weathers’] teammates continued to close the gaps like we had hoped, but I think the heat prevented us from running as strong as we are capable,” he said.
The Jaguars averaged 25:07 per man, 48 seconds per runner better than second-place Milligan.
Looking forward, Ward is focused on steadily improving both teams.
For the men, that means running as a pack from the beginning. For the women, it is all about substantial practice.
“We have three and a half weeks to get ready for conference, and I expect us to be in the hunt for championship,” Ward said.
The next test for both teams is the Peach Belt Conference Championships hosted by UNC Pembroke in Pembroke, N.C., on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Contact Jeremiah Griffin at JEGRIFFIN@augusta.edu.