Toppers off to fast start in cross country

Blue Mountain College got its 2010 cross country season off to a fast start this past weekend in the Berry College Invitational. The Lady Toppers finished fifth out 14 teams and the Toppers eighth of 13 teams.
            Tuesdae Rowland, a junior from Ripley, paced the Lady Toppers with a 5k time of 20:47.21 – good enough for 23rd in the 124-runner field.
Austin Epting, a sophomore from Baldwyn, finished 14th out of 113 in the men’s 8k race with a time of 27:20.25.
“I’m really pleased with the way we ran,” said BMC coach Heather Duley said. “This was a strong field and we competed well. All our returning runners improved their times from last year, and that’s a good sign for this season. We just need to keep working hard and we’ll get there.”
In the women’s race – won by Emory University – Magan Wilburn and Mary Chunn finished 33rd and 35th respectively. Wilburn, a sophomore from Mooreville, posted a 21:18.21 and Chunn, a freshman from Blue Springs, clocked a 21:25.28. Stephanie  Dillard, a sophomore from New Albany, was 49th at 22:17.78; Ashlee Grisham a freshmen from Pontotoc, was 51st at 22:21.29; Beth Goolsby, a sophomore from Ripley, was 57th at 22:51,74; and Emma Baxter, a freshman from Kossuth, was 69th at 23:19.98.
In the men’s race – won by Shorter University – Nathan Young, a junior from Pontotoc, was 39th with a time of 28:38.67; Richard Feist, a junior from Saltillo, was 48th at 29:24.38; Hunter Flanagan, a junior from Saltillo, was 51st at 29:33.00; Derek Scott, a sophomore from Saltillo, was 54th at 29:41.29; and Casey Bales, a freshman from Sparta, Tenn., was 91st at 32:54.22.
BMC travels to Nashville on Saturday, Sept. 18, for the Commodore Invitational, hosted by Vanderbilt University.