Cross Country had an exceptional meet on Saturday in Mount Berry, Ga. at the Berry College Invitational.
The men placed sixth overall in an 8k which featured a competitive field of 15 different schools and club teams. Derek Gallardo earned a spot on the podium, placing 20th overall with a personal best time of 26:34.96. Erik Martinez finished just five spots behind Gallardo, placing 25th with a time of 26:41.91, a personal record. Riley Higginbotham (27:55.59), David Tullock (28:45.74), Luis De La Pena (29:38.51), Francisco Davis (29:41.29), and Juan Villanueva (35:39.26) all also recorded personal bests in a huge day for the Cougars.
The women also posted a great race that was unofficial in the overall team standings. All three racing set a personal record. Sadie Lane led the way for the Lady Cougars, finishing the 6k race in 29:50.08. Jordan Wagers and Lydia Hollis crossed the line with times of 32:28.75 and 34:26.20, respectively.
This race was the coaching debut for interim head coach Lindsey Beck. She took over at the helm of Cleveland State's program on Oct. 8. "I am beyond proud of both of our teams for their efforts today in a tough field of runners at Berry," Beck said. "It was great to see Derek be recognized on the podium and also see our guys get sixth overall with so many PRs set today. I am also very pleased that all three of the girls racing got multiple minute personal bests. After not racing for a couple of weeks, this gives us great confidence going into regionals Friday."
Both teams will be back in action on Friday as they take on Walters State in the inaugural TCCAA Regional Meet at Maryville College in Maryville, Tenn. The women will race their 5k at 10:00 ET, with the men following with an 8k at 11:00 ET.
Men's 8k- 6th Overall, 186 total runners
20th- Derek Gallardo- 26:34.96
25th- Erik Martinez- 26:41.91
44th- Diego Guzman- 27:17.11
74th- Riley Higginbotham- 27:55.59
103rd- David Tullock- 28:45.74
126th- Luis De La Pena- 29:38.51
128th- Francisco Davis- 29:41.29
177th- Juan Villanueva- 35:39.26
Women's 6k- No Team Score, 120 total runners
93rd- Sadie Lane- 29:50.08
109th- Jordan Wagers- 32:28.75
112th- Lydia Hollis- 38:27.75
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