Vanderbilt Takes Second at Season Opener

Vanderbilt Takes Second at Season Opener


The Vanderbilt women’s cross country team came out strong in its first meet of the season, finishing second out of 10 teams at Friday’s Belmont Invitational at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.

Head Coach Spivey noted that Friday’s meet demonstrated the team’s current standing and where improvement was needed.

“We put everyone in packs, and they were to stay with that group through the 1.5 mile mark of the 2.5 (4k) race,” Spivey said. “We did a great job of staying in the pack and running with a teammate. The concern was that our lead pack of four — [sophomore] Lauren Pence, [junior] Brittany Sizer, [sophomore] Debbie Huss and [freshman] Julie Eckerly — came through the mile about 10 seconds too slow, and in 34-37th place. They moved up well over the next half-mile, in the 21-24 place range, but ran out of steam the last half mile, finishing 12th, 13th, 16th and 19th.”

Sophomore Ashleigh Wetzel ran an impressive race, finishing second overall with a time of 14:29.71. The meet’s overall champion, Samford freshman Lauren Blankenship, finished a mere five seconds before Wetzel at 14:24.62.

Samford, led by one sophomore and a pair of freshmen, was impressive in taking first place at the meet.

Vanderbilt hosts the Commodore Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Percy Warner Park, with many of the same teams that competed last Friday also participating this week.