VU, Williamson Win Commodore Classic

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VU, Williamson Win Commodore Classic


Sophomore Austin Williamson led the Vanderbilt’s men’s cross country team to a first place finish in the Commodore Classic 8k at Percy Warner Park on Saturday, September 17.

The Dores captured the Commodore Classic’s first division title for the first time in school history. Williamson won the race with a time of 25:14, becoming the first Commodore to ever capture the individual title at the event. Williamson shattered the previously held team record for the event by two minutes.

“We’ve never had a first place finisher in this race,” VU Head Coach Don Bailey said. “Austin did a great job.”

Nearly 30 seconds behind Williamson was Emory’s Bryan Forsyth (25:42) and Austin Peay’s Justin Sexton (25:48).

Vanderbilt Sophomore Chris Noel (26:10) joined Williamson in the top ten with a ninth place finish overall finish.

Senior Kyle Morrison (26:53), who placed second for Vanderbilt at the Belmont XC Opener September 2nd, fell behind Williamson at the third mile mark with a violent side stitch that slowed him for the remainder of the race.

“We’re a little banged up,” Williamson said. “But I’m happy with the race overall.”

Tyler Harlan (26:20), Mike Gaske (26:31), and Rick Semones (26:51) rounded out the top five for the Commodores, followed by Morrison in sixth place.

“I’m really proud of the team effort,” Bailey said. “They are aggressive early on and if we can continue to race that way we’ll be okay for the rest of the season, the endurance will just come with practice.”

Bailey still intends to concentrate on forward progression of the team’s second pack for future races.

“We need the second pack to move up, we’ll be getting a lot more threshold training in between now and the Auburn race,” Bailey said.

The next contests for the Commodores will be on Saturday, October 1 at the Rhodes Invitational in Memphis, followed by the Auburn Invitational on October 8 in Alabama.