Thompson, Schnell lead UNCG to pair of runner-up finishes
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Joey Thompson broke the school record in the 8k by nine seconds and Ashley Schnell turned in a top-five performance on the women's side as the men's and women's teams each came away with runner-up team finishes on Friday at the Royal Cross Country Challenge. Also, part of the men's team ran in the Navy race, where Tyron Alston won the individual title and the team finished in first place.
"The guys really ran a great race," said coach Linh Nguyen. "Joey broke the school record and just had a tactically great race. AJ (Savoia) really stepped it up today with a huge PR. He ran a really tough race and came up huge for us today. Andy (Clyne) and Kenny (Hinman) both ran season-best times, as well. Really, from one to seven, this team had a very good race. Queens is the No. 7 Division II team in the country, so to lose by 8 points to them without Jermaine (Coore) in the lineup is a good sign. I think we can still get better over the next two weeks, but I'm extremely happy with today's result."
Thompson broke the school record set just two weeks ago by teammate Mike Koech at the Greater Louisville Classic after running at 24:20.5 to finish in fourth place overall. Koech wasn't too far behind as he finished in seventh place in a time of 24:34.2.
In the Navy race, Alston finished in a time of 26:27.2 to claim top individual honors. Ben Vasquez came in fifth place in a time of 27:04.6, while Taylor Hurst, Ben Constantinides and Ryan Solomon all finished in the top 12.
"Going in to the race, we felt the men could win this race," said Nguyen. "Tyron winning the individual title for his first collegiate win was really a bonus. He ran an extremely smart race and took control with about a mile and a half to go and never looked back. We had all five of our men in this race under 28:00, which was another goal we had before the race. This race capped off what was a very good day for us today."
On the women's side, Schnell continued to lead the Spartans as she finished in fifth place in a time of 17:48.3, just 11 seconds behind the school record she set two weeks ago. Kerry Hartman also turned in a top-10 finish as she completed the 5k course in 18:05.1.
Shaina Sumney finished in 15th place overall by running an 18:14.9.
"The women have been very consistent this year and have always done exactly what we've asked of them from a strategy standpoint," said Nguyen. "Kerry had a great race today to set a big PR. Our top three ran well and our next three packed it up closely. We still need to bring our gap from three to four down. However, I feel very good about where we are right now and I think we're still getting better. A lot of the girls ran PRs today and that's always a good thing."
4. Joey Thompson, 24:20.5; 7. Mike Koech, 24:34.2; 12. AJ Savoia, 24:56.9; 20. Andy Clyne, 25:17.6; 35. Kenny Hinman, 25:31.8; 50. Brian Carrington, 25:51.0; 100. Taylor Day, 26:43.5
1. Tyron Alston, 26:27.2, 5. Ben Vasquez, 27:04.6; 10. Taylor Hurst, 27:54.0; 11. Ben Constantinides, 27:56.9; 12. Ryan Solomon, 27:58.8;
Team results (Gold Race):
1. Queens University, 66 points
2. UNCG, 74
3. Georgia Tech, 81
4. Davidson, 101
5. Columbus State, 176
Team results (Navy Race):
1. UNCG, 30 points
2. Montreat College, 88
3. Mars Hill, 113
4. Mount Olive, 144
5. St. Andrews, 147
5. Ashley Schnell, 17:48.3; 10. Kerry Hartman, 18:05.1; 15. Shaina Sumney, 18:14.9; 38. Tiffany Garber, 18:48.6; 47. Kelly Montague, 18:55.8; 49. Ginny Cronley, 18:58.8; 83. Anna Grimes, 19:40.6; 112. Jade Farlow, 20:18.4; 131. Shannon Hall, 20:49.0
1. Florida State, 76 points
2. UNCG, 99
3. Georgia Tech, 115
4. Lee University, 137
5. Davidson, 153
- UNCG -