Strong performances by underclassmen led the Hanover College cross country teams in the season opener at the Sodexo Grizzly Invitational.
Three all-meet performances guided Hanover's women’s team to a second-place showing, while the men finished fifth in the meet hosted by Franklin College and held at Johnson County Horse Park in Franklin, Ind.
All five scorers for the Panthers' women's squad were freshmen and sophomores. Sophomore Mackenzie Dye (New Castle, Ind.) knocked 23 seconds off her previous personal-best time to finish eighth overall in 19:36.86. Her mark ranks 15th in Hanover history at the five-kilometer distance.
Four freshmen women completed the scoring. Teresa Wiczynski (Columbus, Ind.) and Rachel Smith (Brownsburg, Ind.) also earned all-meet honors. Wiczynski’s 10th-place time of 19:48.22 ties her for 16th in school history. Smith placed 13th, finishing in 20:11.18
Kaleigh DeBeck (Cromwell, Ind.) and Rachel Effinger (Versailles, Ky.) rounded out the scoring, finishing 16th and 21st, running 20:23.76 and 21:02.06, respectively.
Denison University (Ohio) won the seven-team invitational with 33 points to Hanover’s 65. Franklin's Hillary Cain took top honors, covering the course in 18:53.04.
Two underclassmen lead the way for Hanover's men's team. Sophomore Logan Wells (Scottsburg, Ind.) took top honors for the Panthers, running 28:37.72 for 23rd place. Freshman Drew Elston (Carmel, Ind.) placed 31st with an effort of 29:05.10 in his college debut.
Senior Brock Harkness (Indianapolis, Ind.) finished 42nd, covering the eight-kilometer course in 30:18.84.
Junior Jason Holcomb (Sellersburg, Ind.) and freshman Andy Kain (Plainfield, Ind.) completed the Hanover scoring. Holcomb ran 31:00.30 for 47th place, while Kain’s 31:30.71 took 54th place.
Spalding University (Ky.) runner Abram Deng won the meet in a time of 26:33.36. Denison tallied 41 points to win the six-team invitational. The Hanover men placed fifth with 139 points.
Published Saturday, September 1, 2012