Women Finish 2nd in Eye Opener

Spartanburg, SC--The season opening race for the cross country teams at Lees-McRae proved to be quite a success for them. The Bobcats traveled to Spartanburg, SC for the Eye Opener Cross Country Invitational at the Milliken Park Course which will also be the site for this year's Conference Carolinas Cross Country Championships.

On a hot and muggy day the women's team got the season started first with a second place finish in the 22 team field. Running as a pack in their trademark yellow jersey's the Bobcats took the pace out comfortably and moved up throughout the 3.1 mile race. The top 8 girls for Lees-McRae were separated by just 1:18. Leading the way is red-shirt freshman April Harris (Jonesville, VA) with a time of 20:13. She was followed by Sophomores Dana Lindholm (20:17), Gina Valenti (20:20), Ashley May (20:28), good enough for 16th, 17th, 18th and 20th places in the 165-runner field.

Freshman Anna Gray made her Bobcat debut with a time of 20:51 and a 28th place finish. Carla Swart suffered a side-stitch which slowed her down a bit, but she still finished in 34th place with a time of 21:08. Jenny Hurd ran a personal best time of 21:13, almost 30 seconds faster than she has ever run the distance. Demarea Colson is making the most of her junior year as she had the best race of her career in a time of 21:28, nearly two minutes faster than the same race last year. Karyn Bragman suffered through some blisters to run a 23:23.

"We have been working hard and the dedication is paying off as the women ran smart today," said Coach Craig McPhail. "What's promising is how smooth today was and how they ran together pushing each other."

Next up for the Bobcats will be their annual trip to Charleston, SC for the Citadel Invitational September 29th.