Shelbyville, Ind. – The Transylvania cross country team returned to action for the first time in two weekends with a pair of third place finishes by the women's and men's programs at Friday night's "Run with the Lions" meet, hosted by Mount St. Joseph University.
In efforts to combat the continuing late-summer Midwest heat the women's race was delayed and condensed to a 4K distance, while the men's was shortened to a 6K competition.
The women's race took place first, and was highlighted by two top-10 finishes by a pair of Pioneers in sophomore Sadie Middleton, and junior Elizabeth Deaton. Middleton crossed the finish line in 17:51.3 minutes, and was followed closely by Deaton, who clocked in at 17:52.6 minutes to propel Transylvania to one of its finest individual performances on the women's side in 2016.
Not to be forgotten in the mix was senior Cora Kerber, who finished strides behind the top-two Pioneers in 17:53.5 minutes to place 11th among the 38-runner field. Freshman Jennai Mitchell finished fourth among her Pioneer counterparts, while junior Riley Bresnahan came in fifth for the Pioneers field.
Pioneers cross country head coach Heidi Pinkerton was pleased with her teams' week-by-week improvement.
"We are starting to see our hard practices transition into our race performances," said Pinkerton of a productive Friday night.
Freshman Charlie Jordan led the way for the Transylvania men as he recorded a top-eight finish in a field of 49 runners. Jordan's time of 21:18.2 minutes in the 6K set the pace for the Pioneers. It was Jordan's best finish of the season for the Pioneers and the first top-ten finish of his budding career.
Not to be outdone, senior Evan Reister followed closely with a 12th-place finish as he clocked in at 21:46.9 minutes to finish second for the Pioneers. The time and placing was also Reister's season-best. Freshman Jordan Hancock crossed the line in 6:09.82 minutes to mark a top-20 finish in the race. Finishing closely on Hancock's tail was fellow freshman Michael Clore, who took 21st place in 6:12.12 minutes.
Sophomore Brian Mudrak and senior Giovanni Hernandez each recorded times good enough to finish in the top-30 for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers next return to competition on Friday, October 1 when they visit Louisville, Kentucky for the Greater Louisville 8K and 5K. The first race is set for a 12:45 p.m. start.
For more on Transylvania's cross country program, follow its official twitter @TransylvaniaXCTF