FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - On Saturday, the NC Wesleyan Cross Country teams traveled to Methodist University to compete in the 1st invitational of the season. The women finished the day with a runner-up finish to conference rival Methodist.
MU held off the Lady Bishops 26-46 for the win but the women's team did upend fellow conference foe Meredith College, who was pre-season ranked 5th in the USA South while NC Wesleyan was ranked 9th.
"The day started off great with the weather and a clear sky," said head coach Marshall Leonard. "This course is the most difficult course we will face this season," he stated. "The middle miles were all up hill and was very challenging for this part of the season."
"In the women's race, we saw a group of new and talented runners for NC Wesleyan," said coach Leonard, which was led by freshman Cedara Franklin, who ran a 30:28 and finished in 5th place. Fellow freshman Snejana Spinache, another one of the talented young rookies, finished in 6th place with a time of 30:30. Junior transfer Hayley Sheehan provided a solid performance in her first cross country race for the Bishops, where she ran a time of 31:33 and finished in 10th place. Newcomer Teanna Bellamy stepped up and ran great on a difficult course and finished in 11th place with a time of 32:14. Wrapping up the top 5 was sophomore Alyssa Donaldson who ran a personal best of 35:43 and finished with a close 14th place.
"The women's team finished in 2nd place, which was a good start for the season," commented coach Leonard. "I am extremely proud of our girl's team, and how they are dedicated to changing the culture of the program. They are very determined to make this team one of the best teams in the conference."