Cross country makes statement at NCAA Regionals

Photo by Dave Winder/Racer Athletics

Story by DJ Pigg, Staff writer

Murray State’s men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the NCAA Southeast Regional race on Nov. 10th.

This race was the first 10K the men’s team ran this season. Gavin Galanes, a senior from St. Charles, Missouri, finished with the best time and place for the Racers with a time of 31:51:01, which put him in 109th place. Galanes was followed by senior Mark Ventura from Slade, Kentucky, who finished in 114th place with a time of 31:57:05.

All of our men ran a great strategic race, passing runners in the final 4K,” Head Coach Adam Kiesler said. “Really outstanding performance by Caleb Kawasaki. This was his first time racing the 10K, and he stepped up as our number three guy, negative splitting the second half of the race on a pretty challenging course. Gavin Galanes finished out his collegiate career as our top finisher for the men with PR of 31:51.1 with Mark Ventura following close behind with a 31:57:05.”

The women’s race was the second 6K they’ve run this season. Meagan Smith, a senior from Danville, Kentucky, was the top runner for the Racers, coming in 98th place with a time of 22:30:08. Following Smith was Rebekah Priddy, junior from Austin, Texas, who finished 129th with a time of 22:50:06.

“Meagan Smith wrapped up her last collegiate cross country race finishing first, cracking the top 100 finishers. Senior Caroline Grogan improved her time from last year with a 23:14:03 over the hilly terrain. Rounding out the top-five was sophomore Maura Farrell who made her Regional debut finishing just 6 seconds behind junior Ida Mutai,” Kiesler said.

That race concluded the 2017 season for the Racers. The women’s team will have four girls graduating in Smith, Grogan, Emani Griffin, and Emily Flaherty. Galanes and Ventura will be the only two graduating from the men’s squad.

Last weekend’s meet marked the end of the 2017 fall season for the Racers.