COLUMBIA, S.C. - The middle-distance runners in the men's cross country team opened their season with a 5k race at the Carolina Challenge in Columbia on Saturday. The whole group put in a solid effort with Joshua Bowers and Hayden Alexander in the lead, resulting in two top-20 finishes.
"I felt great until the last mile," said Alexander, who quickly took the lead of the Buccaneer team. "Then I started feeling the haze of the sun."
After the first two miles Joshua Bowers raced past Alexander. Both runners put in a fast last sprint, with Bowers crossing the line in 18th place in 16:55.8 and Alexander finishing only a few seconds later in 16:58.9.
"I ran hills and did mileage during the summer," explained Bowers. "But not much fast race pace, so I think I can do way better in the next race."
Buccaneers Keith Terry and Brandon Damon earned their spots in the top-30 and showed that distance is not a problem for them. Considering that today's competitors were all middle-distance runners the performance was impressive.
"This was a good start. The race gives the middle-distance guys a marker where they are and where they have to start working from," said Jim Stinzi, Director of Track & Field and Cross Country.
The long-distance group will get their chance to hit the action on September 15th at the Adidas XC Challenge in Cary, North Carolina.