NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off their 2023 season on Friday at the 5-kilometer Belmont Opener. The women’s team finished second overall, and the men placed third as a team.
Junior Ella Lambert was the first Commodore to cross the finish line in the women’s race, turning in a time of 18:13.5. She was followed by junior Julia Rosenberg and senior Lainey Phelps who finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Sophomore Ashlee Gallegos, who finished 11th with a personal-best time of 18:32.7, and freshman Catherine Sommerfeld, who placed 15th, rounded out Vanderbilt’s top-five finishers on the women’s side.
Vandy’s first finisher in the men’s race was freshman Brady Bliven, who placed 18th and recorded a time of 15:46.4. Graduate student Andrew Pahnke and freshman Jackson Scruggs finished in the top 25 with times of 15:50.6 and 15:54.4, respectively. Sophomore Dylan Ballard and junior Zach Hodges were the fourth and fifth Commodores to finish for the men.
Bliven, Patrick Ford, Gianna Leone, Jackson Scruggs, Sommerfeld, Clara Steer and Elsa Steer made their collegiate debuts in Nashville on Friday.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams will be back in action on Sept. 15 when they travel to Gainesville, Florida, for the Mountain Dew Invitational/South Region Preview.