Courtesy Jason Hendrix

Cross Country Continues to Prepare for Championships

by Ashleigh Young

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Miami cross country team got one step closer to the ACC Cross Country Championships after competing at the FSU Invitational on Friday.

With two races under their belts, there’s still more to be done.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” distance coach Cody Halsey said.

Miami’s women competed in their first 5K of the season and for the second consecutive race, Daphnee Lavassas was the first Hurricane to cross the finish line at 18:03.9. Senior Emma Langlois continues to cut time off her cross country time’s and finished with a personal-best time of 18:21.4.

This is the second time this season the duo went one and two for the Canes, but Halsey is searching for better finishes across the women’s team.

“I was happy to see them get out more aggressive from the start, but as a whole, we really need to put together that last, one to two K,” Halsey said.

Natalie Varela (19:09.6), Morgan Johnson (19:49.5) and Payton Payne (20:59.1) closed out Miami’s women’s squad.

Again, the men were led by sophomore Andrew Madden who finished with a personal-best time in the 8K at 25:37.8. Sophomore Justin Rittenhouse shed more than 90 seconds off his previous 8K time and was the second Hurricane to finish at 26:02.2.

Freshman Colin Wilson finished at 26:33.5, while Dillon Fields finished almost four seconds behind at 26:37 and Thomas Betters at 30:53.9.

“I think the men moved up well as the race progressed, we just need to keep putting in the work,” Halsey said.

Miami has three weeks to prepare for the conference championships on Oct. 30, in Cary, N.C. Halsey intends for her young team to be sharp and ready with three more weeks of hard training with her team.