Three Pioneers place in top 15 to open cross country season at Madison Kiwanis Invitational

group of runners

Hanover, Ind. – The Transylvania cross country team competed in its season-opening event at the Madison Kiwanis Invitational on Saturday morning, placing three athletes in the top 15.

Competing in their first race under first-year head coach Matthew Roden, the Pioneers women's cross country team placed fourth in the women's 6K race. Freshman Kortney Smith made her collegiate debut by leading the Pioneer women and finishing in 10th place overall in a time of 22:29.5.

The Transylvania men's cross country team also turned in a fourth-place finish in the men's 6K race as sophomore Jacob Burnam paced the men with a sixth-place finish out of 48 runners, crossing the line in 20:52.3.

Freshman Michael Kersting also enjoyed a solid collegiate debut alongside his female peer Smith as he recorded a 13th-place finish in 21:12.1 to complete the trio of top 15 finishers from Transylvania. His fellow freshman teammate, Isaiah Winter, finished just outside of the top-15 with a 16th-place finish in 22:35.8. Sophomore Chauncey Longman finished inside the top-20 with an 18th-place finish in 22:50.7.

Junior Josie Cunningham and sophomore Maddie Bell rounded out the top three for the Transylvania women; Cunningham took 16th in 23:17.6 while Bell finished 21st in 24:06.7.

"Today was a great kickstart to our season and allowed us to see how we stack up with the conference as several HCAC school competed today," commented Roden following his first race overseeing the Pioneers in his new head coaching role. "Our returners showed great composure and maturity which I think resonated in our freshmen being able to feel comfortable and race well in their first collegiate competition. All in all, we were able to see how our training has prepared us as we now look to improve our endurance and speed as we get deeper into competition."

The schedule continues for Transylvania on September 21 at the John McNichols Invitational in Terre Haute, Indiana, hosted by conference member Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

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