The men’s and women’s cross country teams recently traveled to Atlanta to compete in the Emory Classic on Mar. 29. With several of top running programs from nearby universities competing competition was sure to be intense.
On the women’s side, sophomore Kylen Hughes and junior Kacie Knapper competed in the 3000-meter Steeplechase. Hughes finished with a time of 12:30.00 which was good for sixth place, while Knapper finished with a time of 13:00.00 putting her in ninth.
In the women’s 5000-meter unseeded run, freshman Iliana Garcia and sophomore Caley Cranford ran for the Bears. Garcia finished with a time of 20:17.58 putting her in fifth place. Cranford finished with a time of 21:48.79 giving her an 18th place finish.
The women’s 1500-meter saw a close finish. Junior Kacie Niemann fell just short of victory, finishing with a time of 4:40.00 just 1.25 seconds away from the first place finisher. The next two finishers broke the tape less than a second behind Niemann, proving competitiveness of the race.
The 5000-meter featured two Bear runners in Kacie Niemann and Christina Kivi. The two Mercer runners ran across the finish line simultaneously with a time of 18:59.00.
The men’s races proved to be just as competitive as the women’s races. In the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase, junior Andrew Weems finished in fourth place with a time of 9:44.19.
In the men’s 5000-meter, four runners for the Bears competed. Junior Jacob Law finished with a time of 15:08.56, which was good for third place. Sophomore Sony Prosper finished in fifth place, clocking a time of 15:19.00. Seniors Marc Kushinka and Chris Svidesskis finished just four –hundredths of a second apart, logging times of 15:34.78 and 15:34.82 respectively, which was good for 10th and 11th place. In the men’s 5000-meter B section, freshman Joel Aguilar finished in 19th with a time of 17:50.00.
In the 1500-meter, freshmen Jeff Law and Austin Pfeifer crossed the finish line together with a time of 4:18.50 placing them in 20th and 21st. Sophomore Kasib Abdullah was just seconds behind clocking a 4:20.00 which was good for 25th. Freshman Josh Pendley finished in 27th place running across the line at 4:21.61.
The 3000-meter saw all four Mercer runners finishing together. Kasib Abdullah, Jeff Law, Austin Pfeifer and Josh Pendley each finished at 9:51.00 taking up the 14th through 17th spots.
This was the final meet of the school year for the women’s cross country team. They will be looking to take the experience gained in this spring season to transition themselves into their competitive fall season.