This year, the cross country DIII South/Southeast Regional race was held in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A land inhabited with luscious vegetation and pacifying Bluegrass makes for a pretty picnic in Greensboro. Unfortunately, the teams could not predict the weather. Earlier in the week of the race, a tropical storm hit, leaving the course mangled with mud otherworldly.
“These were the worst conditions I have ever seen,” proclaimed head coach Francie Larrieu Smith.
Nonetheless, the race went on and the runners persevered, fighting mud and sinister desires to quit along the entire trek.
The men’s team finished 10th just behind UT-Tyler and ahead of Hendrix, equaling the school’s all-time best finish at regionals. The men were led by senior Daniel Rudd, who finished 39th out of 194 with a time of 28:50, four spots out of All-Region. Following Mr. Rudd’s tracks closely was sophomore Zach Freeland with a time of 29:05, whom senior Josh Gideon chased to finish in 29:40. First-year Thomas Bobbitt and junior Allen Smith rounded out the top five with times of 30:13 and 30:19, respectively.
There were some scares (for myself) after the race, however, when Bobbitt had to be carried over to the training grounds and treated with medicinal Gatorade to relieve his suffering of extreme heat exhaustion. “After the race I was just really dizzy, but slowly I became number throughout my entire body and less able to breathe.”
Luckily, one of our very own trainers was able to get Bobbitt back on his feet. With the season over, the men’s team is now able to drink soda, but missing those 6 a.m. runs.