CEDAR CITY, Utah - Oct. 8 - Southern Utah fans gathered in support as the men's cross country team took the title at the only home meet, the Color Country Invitational. The women's team finished second behind Idaho State.
The men took home the victory with a total score of 17, defeating Utah Valley (52) in second, Idaho State (72) and Dixie State (110) in fourth. The women's team finished second with a score of 50 behind the Bengals' first-place score of 27. Utah Valley (51) and Dixie State (102) finished the women's race in third and fourth place respectively.
"Considering the hard week of workouts and the sickness we've had in the program this year, I think it's been a really good meet for both the men and the women," said head coach Eric Houle. "Now we're healthy and have had a really good meet this weekend. I think we're ready for Arkansas."
Cameron Levins led the men's team to victory with a third consecutive first-place finish and with a 6k time of 18:36.20. Nate Jewkes was the next T-Bird to cross the finish line, finishing third with a time of 19:04.72. He was immediately followed by Elijah Rono in fourth place with a time of 19:17.45. Clinton Rhoton (19:26.90) and Devan Antczak (19:33.23) rounded out the scoring members of the men's team in seventh and eighth place respectively.
The women were led with a second-place finish by Diana Medina-Mitchell, who finished the 4k with a time of 14:30.91 behind Idaho State's Bradi Hutchison (14:14.24). Jamie Smith followed next for the Thunderbirds, recording a 14th-place finish and time of 15:15.17. Madalyn Jones (15:24.09), Armarose Bailey (15:26.24) and Steffi Minson (15:31.38) rounded out the scoring members of the team with consecutive finishes in 19th, 20th and 21st place respectively.
"It's always nice to run at home and the turnout was really good," Coach Houle continued. "That kind of support is good for the athletes to see, it helps them perform at the level they have to perform at."
The Thunderbirds will now travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete in the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival on Oct. 15.