CHARLOTTE, N.C. - On Friday, the men's and women's Cross Country teams traveled to Charlotte NC to run IN the Queen City Invitational at legendary McAlpine Park hosted by D-2 Queens University.
"In the running community this is a popular course because it produces fast times for the runners. At this event, there were mostly D1 and D2 teams competing, with a handful of D3 teams fighting hard to show that they belong. The day started off hot with a high temperature of 91 degrees, which required the athletes to hydrate the day before," said head coach Marshall Leonard
The men finished 20th out of 42 teams and beat five D1 and nine D2 teams while beating multiple D3 and NAIA teams. The race was fast with talented runners and teams that were fighting for the win. Div. 2 August University won the meet.
The Wesleyan men's team was without one their top runners and that played a role in the overall team scoring. Sophomore Connor Hayes finished with a time of 27:30 (89th place), which is the fastest time in school history since 1982. He was followed closely by his teammates Andrew Bowen (27:55) who ran his fastest time of the season, and Christian Tippette (120th place) who ran his best time of the season (28:04). Freshman Philly Barungi finished with a time of 29:09 and was chased by his sophomore teammate Terenthen Parker who finished with his best time of the season (29:43) and was the team's final scorer.
"What contributed to it being difficult was the heat and the amount of dust that was kicked up in the meet," commented Leonard. "Everyone was excited about the meet and walked away excited that they held their ground against the top teams on the east coast. Most of the runners that we raced against were on athletic scholarships, and it was thrilling to see our students who are on academic scholarships do well.
"It shows that we can do well and compete against any level if we recruit the right student athletes and train hard. I am excited about the future of our program as we are just in the beginning stages," said Leonard. "We have some talented student athletes who are excited about being part of the foundation we have laid down."