MSU Cross Country Teams Sweep Season Opener In Memphis

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Senior John Valentine (right) captured the 2013 Memphis Twilight men's individual title, while fellow senior Juan Sanchez (left) followed suit in seventh place.
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Under the lights of the Mike Rose Soccer Complex in Memphis, Tenn., the Mississippi State men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off the 2013 campaign by sweeping the Memphis Twilight hosted by Christian Brothers University on Saturday night.

Leading the way for the Mississippi State men was senior John Valentine, who captured the 4.2 mile run title with a time of 21:08.62, with fellow senior Juan Sanchez (21:52.07) following behind in seventh place. Junior Mike Clark (22:05.92) and sophomore Mathew Dunn (22:06.79) rounded out the top 15, finishing in the 14th and 15th positions, respectively. The men captured the win with 55 total points, beating out second place Morehead State, who finished with 60 points.

“I am extremely proud of both of our squads for their performance tonight in Memphis,” head coach Houston Franks said. “Both of our squads ran at their best and picked up the wins, which is exactly the way you want to start out a season.”

For the Lady Bulldogs, sophomore Cornelia Griesche (18:01.85) led the way with a fifth-place finish. Senior Katie Huston (18:02.89) followed closely behind in sixth, while juniors Emma Neigel (18:11.93) and Jodie McGuff (18:12.93) rounded out the top 10 at ninth and 10th, respectively. Despite not having a runner capture the individual women’s title, the Lady Bulldogs still took home the team title with a final total of 44 points. Southeastern Conference rival Ole Miss finished in second place with a total of 53 points.

“It’s always great to have one of your squads capture a title, but when both your men’s and women’s teams do so, it makes you extremely proud as a coach,” Franks said.

The MSU teams will now turn their focus to the Commodore Classic. The Vanderbilt-hosted event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14.

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