Men's Cross Country Second in Memphis

Men’s Cross Country Second in Memphis


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Vanderbilt men’s cross country team took second place overall at the Rhodes Invitational and boasted two runners in the top 10. Commodores Austin Williamson (26:17) and Kyle Morrison (26:32) stayed within sight of each other throughout the race and took fifth and seventh finishes, respectively.

Despite the Memphis heat and humidity, senior Morrison beat his previous performance at the Commodore Classic in Nashville by more than 20 seconds.

“It’s good to see Kyle back where he needs to be,” VU Head Coach Don Bailey said.

Rounding out the top five for the Commodores were team captain and senior Tyler Harlan (27:24), freshmen Matt Long (27:33), and sophomore Chris Noel (27:39). Long had a breakthrough performance, earning his highest team rank of the season.

“We had a pretty good race, overall,” Williamson said. “Our top five were definitely solid, which is a big step up from the last two races.”

The high temperatures of the late morning race played a considerable factor in the team’s race strategy, according to Morrison.

“We really executed the plan well, which was to take it pretty conservatively up front because of the heat,” Morrison said. “We had some patience and positioned ourselves behind runners we should be staying with.”

Junior Mike Gabrys fell ill due to the balmy temperatures, but is expected to fully recover for next week’s race in Auburn, Alabama.

“I was really happy with the team’s performance from top to bottom,” Bailey said. “We wanted to keep the pack tight and did a great job. I’m just really happy with the team’s effort.”