MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Ole Miss cross country teams began the 2012 season on a high note late Saturday night, with both teams finishing in the top five at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic.
The field of runners had to overcome some weather-related adversity in their first race of the season. The meet was originally scheduled to start at 8:40 p.m., but lightning delays pushed the start time back more than two hours into the middle of the night.
“Both teams competed and raced very hard,” said first-year head coach Brian O’Neal. “After the long delay and having different elements thrown at us, we put together a race plan and they implemented the plan very well. Race results weren’t indicative of how we competed. I’m very proud of both of our teams. We’ll get back to work starting again tomorrow and look to perform better as we go to Vanderbilt.”
The Rebel women captured a third-place finish with an overall score of 110 behind Eastern Kentucky (31 points) and Arkansas State (46 points).
Sophomore McKenna Coughlin led the way for Ole Miss finishing 16th and completing the 5k course with a time of 19:44.93.
Sophomore Giana Leone was the next finisher for the Rebel women, running 19:49.79 for 19th place. Sophomore Margaret Harkness (20:00.02), junior Tia Leake (20:02.63) and freshman Catie Daigre (20:04.71) rounded out the scoring for the Rebels, all finishing in the top 30.
The Ole Miss men turned in a fifth-place effort, led by freshman Seumas O’Reilly, who finished 17th with a time of 21:28.93 on the four-mile course. Senior Riley Young (22:01.78) and freshman Ian Carter (22:09.96) also finished in the top 50.
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