ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – Sophomore Bryan Storie of the LaGrange College cross country team recorded a personal-best time of 27:49.67 in the 8-kilometer race during a 33rd-place finish out of 106 runners at the USA South Championship on Saturday at N.C. Wesleyan.
Storie, who has been LaGrange's top-performer in all 11 of his career meets, led the Panthers to a ninth-place finish out of 13 schools in the team standings. The Panthers (261 points) trailed eighth-place William Peace by 18 points and cleared 10th-place Brevard by one point. Berea took home first-place laurels with a team score of 15.
|Alex Whiten was one of 11 Panthers to set a personal record Saturday.|
Sophomore Holly Moreland was LaGrange's first-place performer on the women's side for the 10th time in her outstanding career, as she placed 32nd overall out of 112 runners, clocking a time of 26:37.77 on the 6-kilometer course. Moreland, who earned All-Conference Honorable Mention honors at the 2018 conference meet, barely missed out on the honor for the second-straight season, as the top-22 through 30 finishers received the award.
LaGrange placed 10th out of 15 schools on the women's side with a team score of 280, which trailed ninth-place N.C. Wesleyan by eight and cleared 11th-place Averett by 35. Berea took home the team crown with 41 points.
"Everyone ran a great race on Saturday," said Panthers head coach Jasen Jonus. "Almost everyone set a personal record. I am so proud of how diligently each and every athlete on our team ran. They competed and represented LaGrange College well."
Freshman Alex Whiten continued her exceptional rookie campaign, finishing in the Panthers' second slot and 58th overall, covering the course in a personal-best time of 28:31.30. The first-year collegiate runner has finished in LaGrange's top-two in all five meets this fall, including being the team's top-performer at the Middle Georgia Invitational on Sept. 7.
For the third time in 2019, sophomore Karli Whitaker was the third Panther to cross the finish line, as she placed 71st overall with a career-best time of 30:08.43. Junior Alexis Westrick finished right behind Whitaker and 72nd overall, clocking an individual record of 30:10.72.
In the men's race, freshman Jyheem Rollins was the Panthers' No. 2 finisher for the fifth time in his rookie season, placing 74th overall with a personal-best effort of 31:33.61. Freshman Garret Callahan was the unit's third-place finisher for the third-straight meet, crossing the finish line in a time of 33:08.43 during a 79th-place effort.
The Panther teams will prepare for the NCAA Division III Regional Championship on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.