Vanderbilt Wraps Up Competition in Columbia

Andrew Pahnke, Julia Rosenberg were top finishers for the Dores

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Vanderbilt men’s and women’s cross country wrapped up competition at the SEC Championships Saturday, finishing 12th and seventh, respectively.

“It was a hard-fought competition for both the men and the women,” director of cross country and track and field Althea Thomas said. “With the men, we are a very young team in both age and experience. This meet will prove to give them the grit to compete at regionals and understand what they’re capable of. It really tested them, so we’re looking forward to how it will help them have a great fight at the NCAA Regional Championships.”

On the men’s side, Andrew Pahnke led the Dores with an 83rd-place finish (25:34.7). Zach Hodges finished next in 84th place with a time of 25:35.6. Freshmen Jackson Scruggs (25:40.5), Brady Bliven (25:53.9) and Jack DesRoches (25:54.2) were Vanderbilt’s remaining scorers.

The women’s team tallied 258 points to place seventh overall, an improvement from its eighth-place finish in 2022. Julia Rosenberg paced the Dores for the second time this season, crossing the finish line 44th with a time of 21:18.7. In her second race this season, Cameron Fawcett finished second among Vanderbilt student-athletes and 53rd overall (21:31.6). Freshman Colette Kinsella followed with a 54th-place finish (21:32.0). She was the 12th freshman to finish the race. Vandy’s fourth finisher was Caroline Eck, who placed 60th with a time of 21:38.8. Lainey Phelps rounded out the Dores’ scoring performers, placing 66th overall (21:40.6).

Three Commodores, Joslin Blair (21:57.4), Kinsella and Rosenberg, turned in personal-best times on Saturday.

“The women competed well,” Thomas said. “This is the highest finish we’ve had in the last three years. We were definitely focused on being the best we could today. We had some great performances by a mix of our upperclassmen and our young athletes. They’re coming in and working together. We saw that in the first half of the race. They really worked together to be a pack and run and be competitive. It really feels good to see how they feel accomplished and how it will help them moving forward.”

The Dores will next compete in the NCAA South Region Championships Nov. 10 in Gainesville, Florida.