Royals Cross Country Challenge McAlpine - Charlotte, N.C. Men's Results (8K): 11th Out of 39 Teams (334 Points) Men's Top Performer: Crew Kosiorek Finishes 33rd Overall (25:39.5) Women's Results (5K): 2nd Out of 37 Teams (82 Points) Women's Top Performer: Cara Butcher Finished 5th Overall (17:47.6) Up Next: CofC Classic - Rock Hill, N.C. at Winthrop Farm - 4:45 p.m.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Both College of Charleston cross country teams proved they came to compete at this Friday's Royals Challenge, as the women finished second and the men 11th, combining for a whopping 17 personal best times.
Junior Cara Butcher once again led the way for the Cougars and into the history books with her fifth place finish against a field of over 300 NCAA caliber opponents. With a blazing fast time of 17 minutes, 47.6 seconds, Butcher shaved over 45 seconds off her 5K PR set last year. The time makes her the third-best 5K runner in CofC history, skyrocketing her past a medley of some of the program's greats.
Junior Carlee Cassidy had a strong meet in her own right with a time of 18:32.8 to finish 10th, while sophomore Tori Churchill set a PR of her own with a time of 18:51.2 to take 22nd. Marissa Small-Towns (19:02.6; 29th) and Kornelia Kostka (19:07.9; 35th) rounded out the Top 5 to give the Cougars 82 team points, beating out all 36 schools in the race except for first place Davidson (56 points).
Of particular note, Small-Towns had the best race of her collegiate career. Not only did she finish fourth among her teammates, a season-best, but she caught fire in the second half of the race, surpassing a whopping 54 runners to catapult herself from 83rd to 29th over the final 2.5 kilometers of the race.
Not to be outdone, the men made history of their own. Crew Kosiorek finished 33rd overall with a personal best time of 25:39.5, taking nearly a full minute off of his previous personal best endeavor. That effort moved Kosiorek onto the 8K Top 10 all-time performers list as well, ensconcing himself at No. 7 on the list.
Kosiorek was very nearly not alone in his accomplishment, as Colton Hennessey's 47th overall time of 25:57.8 came within six tenths of a second of taking over the tenth spot currently occupied by Mike Aiken (25:57.25), who set his mark 16 years ago in 1999.
Josh Tierney finished 82nd with a time of 26:27.3, while Grant Gauthier took 107th after clocking in at 26:48.4. Both efforts were personal best performances. Nick Putnam rounded out the Top 5 for the Cougars with a time of 26:53.9. As a team, the men scored 334 team points, finishing 11th overall against a field of 39 teams and fourth among Division I schools.
The College will have the next week to prepare for their final meet of the regular season, the CofC Classic, a deceptively named meet that because of a cacophony of horrific weather events, will in actuality be hosted over 180 miles away on the campus of Winthrop University. That meet is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 16.