NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Seniors Grace Jensen and Matthew Estopinal led the Vanderbilt women’s and men’s cross country teams, respectively, at the Joe Piane Invitational hosted by the University of Notre Dame on Friday.
In the women’s 5-kilometer race at Burke Golf Course, Vanderbilt finished 20th as a team in the largest and most competitive field of the season so far—nearly half of the nation’s ranked teams competed in the race. A short while later, the men finished 12th as a team in the 8-kilometer gold race.
Jensen led the Commodore women with a 24th-place finish among the 197 competitors. She finished in 16:46.3 and was followed by fifth-year senior McKenzie Yanek, who was 64th overall at 17:11.8, and freshman Cameron Fawcett, who finished 97th in 17:26.7. Senior Haley Walker was the fourth Commodore across at 17:49.5 and sophomore Lainey Phelps rounded out the scoring for Vanderbilt with a finish of 17:54.2.
Fifth-year senior Gillian Mortimer (18:26.4) and freshman Ella Lambert (19:15.7) also represented the black and gold in the women’s blue race. While in the women’s open race, Jacque Pinon was 37th (18:28.2), Julia Rosenberg was 43rd (18:30.4), Jenna Holland was 47th (18:35.2) and Joslin Blair was 81st (19:16.5).
Estopinal was sixth overall (24:37.4) just two weeks after finishing as the individual runner-up at the Commodore Classic. Fellow senior Nick Laning was nearby once again with a 21st-place finish of 25:10.6. Freshman Philip Metcalf posted his best team finish as the third Commodore to cross the finish line (26:48.1), while senior Jonah Bird (26:59.1) and Zach Hodges (27:00.2) capped the scoring for Vanderbilt. Freshman Andy Niser returned to action and finished in 28:53.1.
Vanderbilt will have just one more tune-up—the Blazer Classic on Saturday, Oct. 16—before the SEC Championships on Friday, Oct. 29 in Columbia, Missouri.
Be sure to follow Vanderbilt cross country and track and field programs on all social media platforms at @vandyxctrack.