By Matt Bradshaw —
Men’s and women’s cross country began their 2018 season with victories in a dual meet against the University of Tennessee.
“I was really impressed with the way both squads came out and worked today,” head coach Dale Cowper said. “We have many things to improve upon over the coming weeks, but this was a terrific start to our season.”
Dorcas Wasike finished first in the women’s three-mile race with a time of 17:14.94, topping her time from last season and setting a new course record. The junior crossed the finish line 25 seconds before the runner-up from UT.
“My goal, individually, is to win the ACC,” Wasike said. “Last year I was second, but if I win this time that would be great.”
Sophomore Bailey Beery and freshman Ivine Chemutai followed close behind for third and fourth place finishes.
Emmanuel Cheboson topped the men’s four-mile run in his first collegiate race for U of L. The freshman won by 33 seconds and set a course record with a time of 20:14.40.
Redshirt senior Chandler Austin placed second and senior Daniel Fleace clinched the team victory with a four place finish.
The team will travel to Nashville for the Vanderbilt Commodore Classic on Saturday, Sept. 15.
“This year we go on the road a lot more,” Cowper said. “It looks a little different, but both teams return competitive nucleuses.”
With such a successful running in their first meet, Louisville looks good for the ACC Championships in October.
“It’ll be the first experience we’ve had heading to Boston for the ACC Championships,” Cowper said. “It’s a historic course in the city, so it’s a little bit tighter than some of these country courses that folks are used to.”
Last year, the women finished second in the conference and the men grabbed 15th, marking the Cards’ best overall performance as a member of the ACC.
“The returning group is very strong, led by Dorcas Wasike.” Cowper said. “[Dorcas] is an All-American caliber runner, and through the outdoor season she showed that with a 2017 NCAA runner-up finish in the 10,000 m.”
In a 2018 ACC preseason poll, the women were picked to finish third and the men were picked to finish 13th. The third-place mark is the highest slot for the women’s cross country program in their five seasons in the conference.
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