NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt women finished fifth in a quality field at the Commodore Classic Saturday, while sophomore Nick Laning put together the strongest performance of his collegiate career to pace the men’s squad.
Utilizing top-20 individual finishes by Caroline Pietrzyk and Grace Jensen, the Commodore women finished with 163 points, just 22 points behind Missouri and ahead of SEC teams Georgia (6th place) and Auburn (12th place).
The Vanderbilt men claimed 10th place, two spots ahead of Auburn, with 290 points.
The meet, which drew several 2018 NCAA Championship qualifying teams in both men’s and women’s divisions, was held at Vanderbilt’s Percy Warner Park home course. Middle Tennessee and Ole Miss claimed team titles in the men’s and women’s races, respectively.
Vanderbilt head coach Steve Keith was pleased with both Commodore results.
“Our meet was arguably the deepest field running in the nation today, and I’m proud of how both of our teams competed,” Keith said. “I’m proud of our women because they got just about everything they could out of the race. We’ll benefit a great deal from this performance. And I can’t say enough about how the men did, especially Nick. I’m pleased with our overall effort and I’m really happy the meet was such a success.”
Pietrzyk and Jensen paced the Commodores, finishing 19th and 20th individually with six-kilometer times of 21:55 and 21:56, respectively.
They were followed by Niki Narayani (38th place, 22:20), Reagan Bustamante (41st place, 22:22) and Ana Wallace (51st place, 22:32). Other Commodore finishers were Gillian Mortimer (95th place, 23:16) and Alena Sapienza-Wright (109th place, 23:28).
Laning became the fastest Commodore ever over the Percy Warner Park men’s course. The sophomore finished 16th overall, running the eight-kilometer distance in 24:54. Laning smashed his personal record at the distance by more than 30 seconds.
Other Commodore men trailing Laning were Harrison Thomas (46th place, 25:38), Caleb Van Geffen (69th place, 26:04), Jonah Bird (110th place, 27:04), Andrew Irvine (126th place, 27:56) and Edward Harpstead (136th place, 28:45).
The Commodore women return to action Sept. 28 at Ohio State. Both squads will compete in the Louisville Classic on Oct. 5.