The USF men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Auburn, Ala. last weekend to compete in the Auburn University Cross Country Invitational. The women’s team scored 174 points, finishing 7th place in the 5000-meter race. The men’s team tallied 496 points and finished 16th.
The meet featured some of the nation’s top teams. Alabama finished first in the men’s division, and Baylor placed first in the women’s. The Bulls women’s team finished five points ahead of 8th place Tennessee and 24 points behind 6th place Texas A&M. Florida State, which the Bulls finished ahead of last week at the Florida Invitational, placed second.
“The weather there was gorgeous. It was perfect for running. The race gave individuals runners and (teams the) opportunity to improve,” Cori Kill said.
The women’s team was without two of their best runners, Tara and Tiffany Quinn. The sisters were unable to attend the meet due to a family emergency. Kristi Fuller, who finished at 17:04.47 and placed 7th, led the women’s team. Kill finished 33rd with a time of 17:38.07.
“We ran really well as a team, all the girls ran personal bests and four girls ran under 18 minutes. A 7th-place team finish is very impressive, given we were missing Tara and Tiffany. Everyone gave incredible efforts,” Kill said.
The men’s team was once again led by Jim Vitale, who finished 44th with a time of 25:44.88. Adam Chumbley finished 61st, with a time of 26:00:16.
“The meet featured very deep competition,” Chumbley said. The men’s team has made tremendous strides throughout the year. The young team has improved from week to week.
Chumbley, a sophomore, has emerged as the leader of the team.
“I am the kinda guy that goes out there and looks to be the leader and role model. We are a tight knit group. We all get along with each other. We need to be more disciplined, we need to focus on running and staying together,” Chumbley said.
This was the last 5K race for the women and 8K race for the men. For the remainder of the season, the women will run 6K and the men will run 10K. The increased distances will help runners prepare for the regional and national championships.
The Bulls have this week off from competition. They will utilize the off-week by focusing on speed training. USF’s next meet is Oct. 13 at the Pre-NCAA meet at Furman in Greenville, S.C.