The Vanderbilt women’s cross-country team – ranked 20th in the nation – took home a victory at the Commodore Classic on Saturday. The team’s five top racers were all among the first eleven finishers.
The Commodores won with the lowest score of 38 points, Lipscomb (65 points) and Ole Miss (83 points) taking second and third, respectively. This was a promising result after Vanderbilt finished second to Lipscomb two weeks ago at the Belmont Opener, a race in which only half the team ran.
Redshirt freshman Lily Williams led the way for the Commodores, finishing fifth on the 5K course at 17:25.73, with redshirt sophomore Hannah Jumper (17:31.47) and freshman Carmen Carlos (17:32.36) close behind at sixth and seventh. Juniors Rebecca Chandler (17:36.28) and Claire Benjamin (17:37.80) finished ninth and 11th, respectively, to wrap up Vanderbilt’s scoring.
Although they didn’t factor into the team’s scoring, three more Commodores—Vanessa Valentine, Grace Orders, and Courtney Kriegshauser—finished in the top 25.
Six Commodores also finished with personal bests in the second race of the year, including Benjamin and Carlos—who broke their previous records by over a minute—and Chandler, who took 20 seconds off her previous best.
“The women really showed up today,” said assistant coach Rhonda Riley. “We raced 13 of our 15 women, and we were working on our spread. From 1 to 5 was 12 seconds and our 1 to 8 was 29 seconds.
“We group up really well as a team, and that’s going to translate as we progress throughout the season.”
The Commodores are off for the next two weeks until the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn.
The men’s cross-country team also ran on Saturday and finished 13th out of the 19 Division I teams. Junior John Ewing was the top Commodore, finishing 50th on the 8K course with a time of 26:08.70.
The men will be back racing in three weeks at the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky.