Berea, Ky. – The Transylvania cross country team ushered in the Taylor Throckmorton era by competing at the Berea College/Centre College Cross Country Jamboree Friday evening.
Serving as the first event of the 2017 season for the Transylvania men's and women's cross country cadres, the Pioneers competed against a collection of student-athletes representing six other schools, five of which hailed from the Bluegrass.
It also marked the dawning of a new timeline in the story of the Transylvania cross country program, as first-year head coach Taylor Throckmorton oversaw his team's first meet since his arrival to Transy this past summer.
"This weekend was very positive overall," commented Throckmorton. "The first meet is always about revisiting the basics of cross country and our team did that very well. We have a lot of first years and they demonstrated maturity beyond their years in how they raced and handled themselves throughout the day. As soon as we arrived, they all walked the course to familiarize themselves with it before we needed to tell them to. They timed and executed their warmup perfectly and kept their heads, and paced the race very well – all things that are great to see from freshmen in the first race."
On the women's side, competitors raced in a two-mile run format while men's runners squared off in a five-kilometer race format.
The top performer for the Pioneers women's team was senior Elizabeth Deaton, who broke the tape in 13:04.8 minutes. Trailing Deaton was freshman Josie Cunningham, who finished in 14:16.7 for her first official collegiate race. Junior Sadie Middleton and Ally Priebe rounded out the list of Pioneers women's runners who turned in times.
In the men's 5K, freshman Logan Hopper was the top performer, crossing the line in 17:30.2 for his first collegiate showing. Fellow freshman Darrell Corn made his debut with a 17:56.2 run. Matthew Napier enjoyed his debut with an 18:44.6 time.
"Performance-wise, every single athlete ran better than they did in our time trial a few weeks back, which is both confirmation that we're moving in the right direction and a confidence boost for the rest of the season," added Throckmorton. "Coach Gale and I are very optimistic that Liz Deaton, who had a great debut and improved by 33 seconds from last year to this year on this exact course, and the rest of the team are poised to have a great season."
Transylvania's next meet is the Otterbein Invitational, which is scheduled for Saturday, September 16 in Westerville, Ohio.
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