AKRON, Ohio- The Thundering Herd cross country team opened the 2012 season at the University of Akron’s Tommy Evans Invitational on Thursday afternoon, finishing fourth on the men’s side and fifth in the women’s meet.
Senior David Caldwell paced the Marshall men with a time of 20:47 in the 4-mile race, capping-off his impressive performance with a top-5 finish to start the season. The Dunbar, W.Va., native finished fourth out of the 41 runners present and was trailed most closely by sophomore Caleb Bowen’s 18th place performance. Bowen finished the race with a time of 21:28, while senior Ryan Bowser finished third for Marshall with a 21:43 time that was good enough for 21st place.
The Herd finished fourth out of five teams, defeating only Youngstown State University on the day. Malone took first place honors after seeing four of its runners finish in the top-10.
On the women’s side Marshall was paced by sophomore Celia Leonard, who finished just outside the top-10 in 11th place. The Mount Vernon, Ohio, native ran the 5k race in 19:24, and was joined in the top-20 by senior Kelley Mortakis, who finished in 17th with a time of 19:40. The women’s leading runner from a year ago, Leslie Thomas, is nursing an injury and did not compete in the season-opening race.
Akron took first place in the women’s team standings, while Youngstown State University finished just above the Herd ladies in fourth.
“I thought David Caldwell, Celia Leonard, and Kelley Mortakis all had great opening-day races against some excellent competition today,” said Head Coach Jeff Small. “We just need to work on getting our number three, four, and five runners crossing the line closer to our top finishers in order to improve the teams this season.”
Marshall’s next meet is scheduled for September 15, in Nashville, Tenn., at Vanderbilt’s Commodore Classic. Complete results from today’s Tommy Evans Invitational may be accessed by clicking the links below.
Men’s Results | Women’s Results