COLUMBIA, S.C. – Freshmen stole the show Saturday morning at the Carolina Challenge, the season-opening meet for The Citadel men's and women's cross country teams. In total, six freshmen earned points for the Bulldogs, including two for the women and four for the men as both teams finished third.
Race: Carolina Challenge
Distance: 5,000 meters (5K)
Location: Sandhill Research and Education Center
Participating Women's Teams: Benedict, Clemson, Columbia College (S.C.), Presbyterian, South Carolina and The Citadel
Participating Men's Teams: Benedict, Clemson, Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian and The Citadel
- The Bulldog women finished third out of six teams with 93 points.
- The 'Dogs finished ahead of Presbyterian (4th, 129 points), Benedict (5th, 142 points) and Columbia (S.C.) (6th, 142 points).
- Clemson won the women's race with a score of 24, while South Carolina finished second with 34 points.
- The Citadel was led by freshman Heidi Fortin, who finished 17th overall with a time of 19:32.30 in her collegiate debut.
- Junior Amber Opp finished 25th overall with a time of 20:22.48.
- Freshman Grace Wolfe finished 27th in her collegiate debut, recording a time of 20:33.97
- Junior Casey Miller and senior Jordan Neeley rounded out the Bulldogs' scoring five, finishing 36th and 39th respectively. Miller turned in a time of 21:25.81, while Neeley raced her way to a time of 22:20.03.
- The Bulldog men finished third out of five teams with 60 points.
- The 'Dogs finished ahead of Presbyterian (4th, 120 points) and Gardner-Webb (5th, 127 points).
- Clemson won the men's race with a score of 22 points, while Benedict finished second with 59 points.
- The Citadel men were led by four freshmen in the scoring five, highlighted by Sam Sharnas' seventh-place effort. Sharnas ran a time of 16:10.40 in his collegiate debut, scoring six points.
- The freshman tandem of Ty Duben and Andrew Smith finished 14th and 15th, scoring 12 and 13 points. Duben turned in a time of 16:49.95, Smith a time of 16:52.72.
- Sophomore Lane Johnson finished 17th with a time of 17:08.72, while freshman Billy Eggers rounded out the scoring five with a 19th-place finish in a time of 17:22.63.
- Colin Martin ran unattached and finished fifth overall with a time of 16:05.85.
"This was a good opening meet for us," said head coach Jody Huddleston. "On both sides, the freshmen looked very good. I think it will make us deeper. I'm sure the upperclassmen will come around. We haven't been able to do any speed workouts yet and classes only started three days ago, so it's hard to just jump right into it. We'll have a better understanding of where we are in a month and we'll see what these freshmen can really do. They made a bit of a statement today."
The 'Dogs will next stay closer to home, racing in the Buccaneer Open hosted by Charleston Southern on Saturday, Sept. 7.