Cross country teams having mixed results

Clayton Hurdle
Sports Writer

Cross country season has gotten off to a great start, highlighted by the women’s team being ranked second in the Southern Conference.

The teams were in Louisville, Ky. last weekend for the Greater Louisville Classic. Junior Lauren D’Alessio finished fifth overall in the women’s 5K race, leading the Bulldogs to 19th place out of 30 teams.

Other highlights from the women’s team on Saturday were freshmen Chelsea Treadway, Frances Bernard and redshirt junior Deanna Zidar finishing in the top half of all competitors.

The men’s team featured sophomore religion major Layton Dorsett and junior Ramsey White, a pre-nursing major, who both finished in the top half of their 8K race.

The Louisville meet was the largest in which the Bulldogs have participated so far this year.

Samford got off to a strong start during the first weeks of school. The girls’ team started with a meet against UAB; D’Alessio finished first overall.

“Lauren not only won the race, she was the only person in the race to break 15 minutes in the 4K,” Nicholas Cork, a redshirt freshman and exercise science major, said.

The men’s team raced strongly in Jacksonville, Ala. Dorsett came in second place, finishing a half-second behind the winner of the race. Cork, Dorsett and White all ran personal best times at the Jacksonville race.

D’Alessio won another race when the Bulldogs participated in a meet at Auburn, leading the women’s team to a second place finish.

The Lady Bulldog runners include D’Alessio, Treadway, Bernard, Zidar, Holly Benson, Lillie Jackson, Alli Keithan, Lauren Ewart, Claire Grogan, Rachel Sims and Brooke Smith.

The men’s team is smaller, as sophomore pre-engineering major John Gayle and freshman secondary education major Lucas Sieb have had limited participation due to injury.

Cork, Dorsett, White, James Graham and Henry Stevens-Carty make up the rest of the men’s team this year.

“You’re supposed to run with seven, but we’ve been running with five people the entire year,” Cork said.

Both cross country teams are led by distance coach Lori Strand, now in her second year at Samford.

“Coach Strand has a good workout planned, and she’s certainly helped me improve,” Cork said. “She’s a good encourager.”

The Bulldogs travel to Tuscaloosa on Oct. 15 for a meet, and will run in the Southern Conference Championships at the end of the month. The girls’ team is looking to defend two straight conference titles in the SoCon race.

“We’ve grown together as a team and push each other hard,” Cork said. “We’re just working together to get better, and we try to do the best we can.”

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