Story by Simon Elfrink
The Murray State Racers men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off the season on Friday, Aug. 30, at Belmont University, competing against the likes of Austin Peay State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, Western Kentucky University, Lipscomb University and the University of Evansville.
During the Women’s 5K competition, freshman Emma Graff cracked the top 20 competitors, coming in 15th with 19:04.26. Sophomore Dani Wright placed 23rd; her time was 19:44.19. Morgan Voster, sophomore, came in at 20:22.28, while freshman Kristen Dent followed closely with a time of 20:41.34. They achieved 31st and 36th, respectively. Senior Hillary McAdam came in 40th with a time of 20:57.02.
Head Coach Jordan Wallace was pleased with the team’s start to the season and looks forward to seeing its progress in the future.
“It can be a bit tough your first time coming back on the cross country floor,” Wallace said. “I think the women did a really good job handling that. I think we’re starting off in a really good place.”
On the men’s side, junior Caleb Kawasaki paced the Racers, placing 11th overall with a time of 15:56.97. Senior Zach Balleau, placing 13th, had a time of 16:05.31. Freshman Robert Gibson came in 23rd with a time of 16:30.10.
Meyer Makemson, junior, placed 31st and came in at 16:52.75. Senior Tyler Bradley also made the top 40 for the men. He was the 32nd runner for the men’s race with a 16:55.75.
Wallace said this is just the start for a men’s team that she expects a lot out of.
“Overall, I think our men’s team has a lot more depth than they’ve had in the past,” Wallace said.
The Racers will compete again at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville on Friday, Sep. 13, at the John Flamer Invite.