Tension and adrenaline built as the 25 competing teams began to arrive at the Royal Cross Country Challenge in McAlpine Park, Charlotte, North Carolina on October 15, 2010. The North Greenville University cross country teams waited in focused silence for the shotgun fire that signaled the start of the race. The women’s teams were the first to compete and were then followed by the men’s teams.
Despite injuries that prevented some NGU women from running, the six women runners who did participate in the 5K finished strong, beating many of their own personal records. Kaitlyn Joseph, senior sport management, said, “I have exceeded my personal record every race so far, and today I ran my fastest time of the whole season. It is encouraging to see my progress and the benefits of training.“
Currie Dickerson maintained a steady pace and finished the 5K strong with a time of 21:31. Samantha Mayo was only seconds behind Dickerson finishing with a time of 21:37.
Directly after the women’s teams raced, the men’s teams began to line up for the start of their 8K race. The competition was challenging, but the NGU men’s runners pulled through and greatly improved from the previous races. The top 4 runners, Andrew Mosteller, James Lind, Ben Wade, and Jonathan Eastridge, all sucessfully beat their own personal records. The top NGU men’s runner, Andrew Mosteller, finished with 29:25.
Tomas Kurhajec, assistant cross country coach, said, “Cross country is all about having stamina of the mind that turns into pushing yourself physically. I am really proud of both the men’s and women’s team for their dedication during practices which resulted in their personal progress during this race.“
The long hours of training and the physical pain each runner experienced during the race diminished as the finish line came into view. Though neither team placed first in the race, the excitement of conquering their own personal records was reason enough for celebration at the end of the day.
The NGU runners will continue training in preparation for their upcoming race at the Lenoir-Rhyne invitational on October 23, 2010.