Written by David Mann
EVANS, GA – The Darton State College men’s and women’s cross country teams continue to improve and placed 2nd and 4th, respectively, at the Georgia Regents University Jaguar Invitational in Evans, Friday.Freshmen David Thornton and Austin Stewart finished among the top ten and led the Cavaliers to a score of 55 points, which tied Young Harris College for second place. Darton’s sixth man, Jelanie Omari, beat Young Harris’ sixth by 26 seconds to win the tiebreaker.
Darton averaged a 28:36 8K, but Darton head coach Bruce Skiles said not to misinterpret the times, which were about a minute slower than previous races for the Cavs due to steep hills and loose rocks.
“I told the coach, Adam Ward, that I liked the meet but I don’t like the course,” Skiles said. “He said ‘We’re changing it’ and I said that’s good because we weren’t coming back next year!”
Georgia Regents won with a score of 16 points. Darton scored 55 points with Thornton, who finished 9th, Stewart, 10th, Jordan Richey finished 13th, Jose Bautista finished 14th and Victor Chicas, who finished 5th.
“Victor and I made mistakes and went out too fast,” said Stewart, who consistently finished first among the Cavaliers in three previous races. “David had a very good race.”
In the women’s race, Lady Cavalier sophomore Elena Oslund finished 8th overall with a 26:57 6K. Fellow sophomore Alexis Skiles, who has been overcoming an injury, finished second for Darton and 14th overall. Also scoring for Darton were Amber Braswell, 18th, Jaichelle Thomas, 27th, and Victoria Favela-Parra, 33rd.
Young Harris College won the women’s race with 47 points and an average 26:46 6K. Darton scored 94 points and averaged a 28:55 6K.
“That’s about as good as we could do, as beat up as we are,” said Coach Bruce Skiles. “We have three women who have been dealing with some injuries.”
Darton will host its Mid-Season Run on Saturday at the Albany campus. The men’s 8K begins at 8:30, with the women’s race to follow at 9:15. Admission is free.