MARYVILLE, Tenn. -- Behind the the first and second place finishes of Spookie Eaves and Beth Burgess, the Covenant women's cross country team took first place at the Maryville College Invitational on Saturday morning. The men's team also fared well, finishing fourth.
With the team title, this marks the second straight week that the women's team has come out on top and the third time overall this season.
Eaves had a 6k time of 25:24.4 to claim her first collegiate individual title, while Burgess was behind her at 25:52.1. Burgess ran the course in a minute and 40 seconds faster than in her previous run at the course last season.
Overall, Covenant placed four runners in the top 10 and six in the top 15. Esther Anderson finished sixth with a time of 27:36.9 with Emily Davis placing eighth overall at 27:55.1. Melanie White and Ruthie Cargill finished 13th and 14th, respectively, with times of 29:16.3 and 29:26.4.
As a team, Covenant had 30 points, 34 points better than second place Maryville. "This course is a tough course so they did really well," said head coach Katie Stanford. "The girls are strong and this was their third team victory of the season."
On the men's side, Stephen Dillon ran a season-best 29:27.7 to finish in fifth place. Teammate Stephen Harper also finished in the top 15, placing 13th with his 8k time of 31:03 a season-best for the sophomore. Nate Shelden was the third Covenant finisher and 21st overall with a time of 31:43.5 in his first-ever 8k event. Jack Williams set a personal-best 32:23.1 to place 25th, while Jake Sikkema, also making his debut in the 8k, placed 30th with his run of 33:05. Rounding out the Covenant finishers, Andrew Sanders ran a personal-best of 35:00.3 to finish in 39th.
"Our guys have been training hard the last three week and today reflected that," said Stanford. "Looking forward to seeing more improvement at Berry next weekend."
Indeed Covenant will return to competition next weekend, October 13 at the Berry College Viking Open at Mount Berry, Ga.