10/15/11 – (SPARTANBURG, S.C.) The Darton College Cross Country program scored big Saturday at the University of South Carolina Upstate Invitational, taking 2nd and 4th place finishes among a pool of 4-year colleges and universities.
Sophomore Heath Lamb would lead the way for the Cavaliers, finishing seventh after completing the men’s 8K (4.98 miles) in 27:17. Lamb was followed by teammates Kingsley Cajuste (8th, 27:27), Luis Navarro (13th, 28:09), Nathan Norton (15th, 28:17) and Cody Mallchok, (17th, 28:42). The team compiled 48 points to finish second out of a pool of seven teams.
In the women’s race, Jeronda Stringfield passed teammate Shay Wright in the last mile to finish 13th and lead the Lady Cavs. Stringfield ran the women’s 5K race (3.1 miles) in 21:10. She was followed by Wright (17th, 21:40), Ashley Tosky, (25th, 22:00), Vanessa Pina (28th, 22:14) and Lacey Webb (30th, 22:24). The Lady Cavs tallied 97 points to finish fourth – only thirteen points away from finishing second (85 points, Wofford College).
Both the men’s and women’s teams ran without their No. 3 runners (Ryan Judson, Hayden Clapper) due to injuries.
“I know that if we’d had Hayden, we would have finished second,” Darton Head Coach Bruce Skiles said.
“But I was very pleased with both teams,” he said. “Heath and Kingsley ran strong, although I think they could’ve ran stronger. I think they got into ‘la la’ land – they lost contact of where they should have been in the race. It’s hard to catch up when the other runners are just as good as you are.”
The course was very soft, due to recent rain, which slowed the times down for the runners. However Darton ran fast enough to maintain its status at the top of Region XVII, and for the men’s team to hold onto its No. 11 national ranking and the women to remain in the top 25.
“We’re on our way to nationals,” Skiles said. “It’s the next step up. We’re getting better and better.”
The race at USC Upstate marked the last regular season meet for the Darton program, who is scheduled to host the Region XVII Championship on Oct. 29.
(From left to right, in red) Lacey Webb, of Moultrie, Taylor Hall, of Guyton, Ashley Tosky, of Leesburg, Shay Wright, of Griffin, and Jeronda Stringfield, of Pensacola, take off at the USC Upstate Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C., Saturday.