Jo mayo, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State cross country team traveled to Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 30 to compete in the ASUN Championships against 11 other universities. The Gamecocks had a rough battle against these great teams. The men’s team finished 11/12 in the 8k, and the women’s team also finished 11/12 in the 5k.
The women’s XC team tried their best, ending in 11th place with a score of 317 for their 5k. Their team time was 1:37:47, averaging 19:34 per runner and 6:18 per mile. Liberty University was Jacksonville State’s strongest competitor finishing first; meanwhile, the Gamecocks managed to beat Florida Gulf Coast. Senior Sarah Jaloma came in 52nd overall with a time of 18:48.3, but finished first out of the other Gamecocks with freshman Bethlehem Manzano Jaloma right behind her with 18:51.0. This was a close finish with less than a three-second difference. Miriam Schilz wrapped up the Gamecocks’ total time with an impressive individual time of 20:57.6.
The men’s XC team also fought hard for their score of 358 and 11th place. The team’s total time was 2:22:44, with a runner average of 28:33 for their 8k and their average mile being 5:45. Jacksonville State managed to beat Jacksonville, but North Florida dominated the event, coming in first overall. Junior Alex Kitum led the Gamecocks, coming in 83rd overall and was first for the team with a time of 27:55.6. Freshman Rodrigo Fraga Odriozola followed right behind in 84th with 28:09.2. Wrapping up the team time was Kaden Marker with 29:48.0.
This was the first time the Gamecocks XC teams competed in the ASUN Championships in two decades. Both men’s and women’s teams pushed hard as they ran against great universities this weekend, but they sadly fell short, both coming in 11th place. Their next and last seasonal meet will take place in Huntsville, Alabama, on Nov. 12 during the NCAA South Region Championships. The Gamecocks are ready to give this final meet all they have.