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Bruins compete in Royal XC Challenge

The men and women’s cross-country teams competed in the Royal Cross Country Challenge at Queens University on Oct. 9. The men placed 30th and the women placed 28th in the competition.

“It was one of the largest college cross-country meets that I have ever been to,” head coach Landon Bright said.

“Some people walked away hoping they can do better down the road, but I think we had a solid day.”

The men’s team began the meet at 4 p.m. The field was stacked with NCAA schools including Duke, Campbell and Wake Forest. More than 300 men ran in the 8K course.

Daniel Marinelli finished first for the Bruins and 195th overall with a time of 28:23.4. Sam Koenke crossed the line right after Marinelli with a time of 28:23.9. The Bruins finished 30th out of the 39th teams competing.

“The guys got caught in the back early on, and that hurt us a little,” Bright said.

“[Due to injury] we are still missing our top guy, Josh Rush, which is hurting us team-wise and costing us a lot of points.”

Despite not having Rush, the team’s total time qualified them for the NCCAA National Championship next month in Houghton, New York.

The Lady Bruins began their race, looking to bring in another strong finish for BJU. Deborah Spannagel finished first for the Bruins and 169th overall with a personal record of 21:07 in the 5K race. Sarah-Paige Guerrant finished second for the Bruins with a time of 21:22.

Stephanie Neds and Rebekah Spannagel crossed the finish line in third and fourth for the Bruins. The Lady Bruins finished the meet in 28th  place out of the 37 teams competing.

“The women’s team ran faster as a group than they did last year,” Bright said.  “The goal was to get a fast race under our belt, and the ladies’ team is looking stronger.”

The Bruins will next compete in the Sand Shark Invitational at the University of South Carolina Beaufort on Oct. 24.