TROY, Ala. - The LaGrange College cross country teams started their 2011 season at the Troy Invitational on Saturday.
The Panthers were the only Division III teams in the meet hosted by Troy University. Alabama State University, Albany State University, Auburn University, Florida A&M University and the University of South Alabama made up the rest of the field.
Both Panther teams finished ahead of last year's team averages. The men had a average time of 21.67 minutes for its top five finishers, two minutes ahead of last year's average. The women's top five finishers had a average time of 16.72 minutes, a full three minutes ahead of last year.
Josh Valls led the men with a time of 18:44.43 over the 5K course. He finished 32nd overall. Following Valls were: Joe Strickland (21:55.13), Devin James (21:55.45), Trevor Jones (22:29.14) and Robert Harste (24:56.39) for the top five.
Sara Cleaveland had the women's top time of 14:56.46 over the 3200 meter course. Cleaveland was 47th overall. Rounding out the top five were: Amber Lucas (15:21.93), Megan Tipsword (17:36.97), Kelsey Harris (18:20.86) and Christa Von Borstel (18:28.34).
The Panther teams will run in the Berry Invitational in Rome, Ga. on Saturday, Sept. 10.