Fall weather typically offers perfect conditions for a collegiate cross country race. There is just enough wind, the temperature is optimum so that a competitor’s legs don’t lock up from the cold, and they don’t burn out from the heat. As the Greenville women’s cross country team approached the Bradley Pink Classic on October 12th, they had cool fall weather and personal records on their minds, but they were ultimately shaken, not by the competition at the Bradley Classic, but by the abrupt and unpredicted frosty elements surrounding the event. Humorously, junior Kori Nesbit stated that senior Shirley Estes had, “…prayed that it wouldn’t rain for our meet on her birthday, but it snowed instead.” This suggests the irony in the anticipation these athletes had for the cool autumn weather but were answered with frigid winter weather instead. Weather aside, our Panthers put up competitive times, and as a team, a notable effort.
Battling an injury, freshman Sabrina Favela has not produced the performances she would like to leading into the conference, but even with that being said, she put up an exceptional time of 26:50 crossing the finish line as 62nd out of 101 finishers. Only a couple steps in front was freshman Sophia Allen finishing 61st with an exceptional 26:47. Then scoring points for the team and placing 60th was freshman Emma Leonhard with a tough effort clocking in at 26:42. Completing the race in 50th place with a solid first-year time of 25:43 was freshman Hannah Williams and then in 48th place was Kori Nesbit with a notable 25:37 finish. A leading senior on the team, Sheridan Noll finished 43rd at the meet with a competitive time of 25:24, serving as critical points for the team. The team was led by senior Shirley Estes who covered the hilly course in a time of 24:50, completing the race in 37th place with an impressive effort. These ladies all put in some athletic performances and all their combined efforts earned them seventh as a team.
It was hard for the team to keep their muscles warm with the frosty conditions, and the hills were slick because of the moisture on the ground, but the times these ladies produced despite these conditions on this stout course provides great feedback going into the back side of the season.
The season is closing with only two meets left to compete on the cross country schedule, and so the pressure to perform looms. The SLIAC conference meet is right around the corner, and as October the 28th draws closer, the practices will be specialized and everything leading up to the event will be intentional. Each member of the team looks to put their fastest races for the season, and hopefully even the fastest times of their lives. As they try to break their personal records, the tensions will be high and the desire to win conference will be fought over by multiple solid teams. It’ll be an exciting race to watch, so come cheer our ladies on at the SLIAC conference meet at the Litchfield Golf Course this Saturday at 10:00 am.