Men's Cross Country Takes Second at Season-Opening Watermelon Run, Hadden Finishes Second Individually

Men's Cross Country Takes Second at Season-Opening Watermelon Run, Hadden Finishes Second Individually

The Oglethorpe men's cross country team got their season off to an outstanding start Friday evening at the Watermelon Run in Mount Berry, Georgia, with a second-place finish as a team, outpacing SAA foe Berry. In addition, sophomore Jacob Hadden finished second as an individual, coming in with a time of 26 minutes, 41.31 seconds on the eight-kilometer course.

The Petrels finished with a total time of 2:17:30.35 and an average of 27:30.07, giving them a clear second-place finish behind No. 19 Emory and ahead of Berry. The Eagles came in at 2:14:55.67, while the Vikings tallied a total time of 2:20:26.49. 

Junior Nick Berardi tallied a top 10 finish for Oglethorpe, coming in at 27:20.21. Sophomore Bill Lester finished 13th with a time of 27:43.33, while freshman Hayden Guthrie also scored for the Petrels with a time of 27:47.96, coming in 14th. Junior Mateo Villa rounded the Petrel scorers, finishing 18th in 27:57.54. 

Sophomore Alex Araya also had a notable day, earning a personal-best 28:21.82 on an eight-kilometer course en route to a 24th-place finish. Freshman Thomas Ridley finished 25th in 28:27.69.

On the women's side, freshman Gabby Huff-Streiter had a positive race on the six-kilometer course, finishing 21st in 26:56.06, putting her right in the middle of the field. The remaining members of the women's team were nursing injuries, and they'll look to get ready for their next meet in two weeks' time.

"I thought today was one of the best team results we've ever had," said Oglethorpe head coach Kirk Shellhouse. "We really raced as a team today, and the results showed that, with guys interspersed throughout. I think this was an excellent tune-up as we move forward into the bulk of our schedule."

The cross country teams will next be in action on Sept. 15, when they head to Memphis, Tennessee, for the Rhodes College Invitational. The men's team will also send a couple of competitors to the Furman Invitational in Greenville, South Carolina, on the same day.