TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Valdosta State men's cross country teams came home 15th out of 21 teams while the women finished 21st out of 25 as the squads competed at the Crimson Classic hosted by Alabama Saturday morning.
Both fields consisted mainly of NCAA Division I programs, but both Blazer programs did well against Division II competition at th event as the women were the second-highest finishing DII team while the men finished also finished second among DII squads while defeating two DI teams.
Jordanne Helton led the women's squad as she was the race's top Division II finisher, coming home 56th in a time of 19:02 for the 5,002 meter course. Taylor Harrington followed in 138th in a time of 20:33 while Ashley Luther was 16 seconds behind and in 149th. Lisa Connelly finished 177th at 22:30 and April Meeks 179th at 22:52 while Sandy Gamino was 186th in 23:54. Samantha Stewart rounded out the Lady Blazer squad with a 188th-place showing at 24:23.
Jesse Prince was the 61st overall finisher and fourth among DII runners in the men's race as he completed the 8,039 meter race in a time of 26:37. Chris Rice followed in 92nd at 27:46 and Dale Smith was 18 seconds back in 108th while Austin McDonald was 108th at 28:20. Ryan Winkel finished 135th at 29:57 and Marc Kaiser ran a 31:32 to finish 147th.
The two teams return to action next Saturday, October 22 when they run in the Gulf South Conference Championships in Birmingham, Ala.