Three weeks of training paid off as the Golden Eagles took seventh place in the Southeast region’s most competitive meet, the Crimson Classic.
The Golden Eagles came into the meet ranked 15th in the South regional. By the end of day, the Golden Eagles took down third ranked Ole Miss, who ranked 25th in the national poll, sixth ranked Florida State, 13th Georgia Tech and 12th ranked conference rival UAB.
Despite it being the team’s first 6k of the season, the team ran impressive times, but more importantly continued to tighten up their pack. The team had a 1-2-3 punch with senior Dana Dillistone, 21:40, followed by freshman Monika Gebarzewska, 21:43 and Theresa Harto, 21:47. Keeping the gap at only 35 seconds, seniors Daphney Stanford, 22:11, and Courtney Filleben, 22:15, closed the pack for a team average of 21:55.
“Really happy with our effort today,” said Head Coach Aaron Kindt. “Running a 6k for the time this season and getting into a race like this after a long block of training. I was a little concerned with how we would handle in the middle, but we kept our composure, and we were able to run a really strong race.”
The team has continued its positive momentum after winning meets at the University of Louisiana-Monroe and LSU earlier in the season. The combination of young runners Gerarzewska and Harto, and veterans Dillistone, Stanford and Filleben continue to be a difficult combination for other teams to overcome.
“Dana really helped set the tone [and] Theresa Harto keeps getting better and better each week,” Kindt said. “Daphney Stanford and Courtney Filliben did a good job staying locked in and competing.”
The team will now prepare itself for the C-USA Championship in Charlotte on Oct. 29. The Golden Eagles seem to be the favorite to win the conference this year, but will have to stay aware of Rice, who has been consistent all season.
“We have a lot of momentum going into championship season, still several things as a group we need to work on, but definitely excited at where the team is at this point in the season,” Kindt said.