AUBURN, Ala.– The Vanderbilt cross country teams had a chance to preview the course in which the 2018 Southeastern Conference Championships will be run in October and fared well among a field of all conference foes Friday in Auburn. The women’s team placed third with a score of 54 while the men’s squad placed fourth with a score of 96.
On the women’s side, just a point separated second and third place. Head coach Steve Keith was pleased with the results from both Vanderbilt teams.
“We had some good races up front for the men and women. The challenge now is to narrow the gap from 1-5 and run better as a group and that will be our objective next week when we run full squads at our home meet,” said Keith.
One of the biggest highlights of the meet was the return of All-SEC performers Sara Tsai and Caroline Pietrzyk, who both sat out the entire 2017 slate. In her return, Tsai didn’t miss a beat, finishing second among the field of 46 runners with a time of 13:25.88 while Pietrzyk crossed the finish line with a time of 13:49.82 good for eighth place.
“It was great to see Sara and Caroline in the mix with the front pack,” said Keith. “It’s been a few seasons for them away from racing and they responded well.”
On the women’s side, five of the six runners, placed in the top 20 with Tsai and Pietrzyk finishing in the top 10. Sophomore Kendall Derry was just outside the top 10 finishing 11th with a time of 13:58.05 over the 4K course while Devon Grisbaum placed 13th with a time of 14:01.07. Mailin Struck (14:08.07) and Gillian Mortimer (14:28.27) rounded out the Vanderbilt contingent.
Aidan Livingston led the men’s side and was the first Commodore across the line in 14th place with a time of 18:36.24 just ahead of teammate Jason Vinczewho was 15th with a time of 18:37. 92.
Sophomore Caleb Van Geffen also finished in the top 20 over the 6K course with a time of 19:00.0 and in 20th place. Seniors Evan Suzman (19:24.61) and Caleb Casolaro (19:51.71) finished in 25th and 30th place, respectively. Edward Harpstead rounded out the contingent crossing the finish line with a time of 20:29.38 and in 32nd place.
Up Next for the Commodores
The Commodore’s will welcome a talented field for the 2018 Commodore Classic on Sept. 15 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.
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Vanderbilt Individual Results
2. Sara Tsai 13:25.88
8. Caroline Pietrzyk 13:49.82
11. Kendall Derry 13:58.05
13. Devon Grisbaum 14:01.07
20. Mailin Struck 14:08.07
29. Gillian Mortimer 14:28.27
14. Aidan Livingston 18:36.24
15. Jason Vincze 18:37.92
19.Caleb Van Geffen 19:00.61
25. Evan Suzman 19:24.61
30. Caleb Casolaro 19:53.71
32. Edward Harpstead 20:29.38