#TCCXC opens strong at Cougar XC Challenge

The 2018 Tallahassee Eagles
The 2018 Tallahassee Eagles

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (August 24, 2018) – Tallahassee Community College opened its third season of cross country on Friday with another successful showing at the Cougar XC Challenge hosted by Godby High School. 

Ten runners debuted for Tallahassee on Friday, doing so at, arguably, the toughest venue on the Eagles' 2018 schedule. Though the 5000m course at Phipps Park is mostly shaded, a variety of terrain (grass, dirt and hard packed gravel) plus a 300m hill with just 800m left provide a stern test for even the strongest runners. 

That didn't stop freshman Jesse Boyd from establishing a new school record in the men's 5K. Boyd, one of the Eagles' newcomers, ran a 17:52.97, the first runner in school history to post a time under 18 minutes. 

Running unopposed, the Eagle men essentially competed against the clock as each of the seven runners were able to ease into their collegiate careers. 

Boyd, along with Brandon Flagler and Gio Duran, posted three of the eight fastest 5K times in school history. Flagler finished in 18:48.77 while Duran was less than five seconds back at 18:53.18. 

Three other runners finished in under 20 minutes – Gannon Hundley (19:45.07), Simon Hodgson (19:51.50) and Andrew McMillan (19:52.59). Dalton Gray completed the Eagles' lineup, posting a 20:29.34. 

In the women's race, Tallahassee went head-to-head with Florida Gateway College, who was making its program debut. 

Despite an impressive run by the Timberwolves Bridget Morse, who finished first in 22:45.67, the Eagles had the next five finishers and won the meet with 20 points, 15 fewer than Florida Gateway's 35. 

Kendall Ward crossed the finish line first for Tallahassee in 23:37.61 followed by sophomores Mia Wiederkehr (23:49.33) and Rachel Williams (24:27.86). 

Dorcas Jepleting finished fifth in 24:37.70 followed by Genevieve Printiss (25:01.36). 

The Eagles' final two female runners – Peri Thompson and Grace Smith – are nursing injuries and did not run on Friday. 

Tallahassee will return to the trails next Friday at Valdosta State University's Border Clash.