Ladies Capture Seventh in Season Opener

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BOLIVAR, Mo. -- The John Brown University women's cross country team finished seventh out of nine teams on Friday (Sept. 2) evening at the Southwest Baptist (Mo.) Bearcat Invitational held at the Bolivar City Municipal Golf Course.

JBU finished with a team score of 202. Host Southwest Baptist won the meet with a score of 24, followed by Missouri Southern State 41, Central Missouri 83, Drury (Mo.) 84, Washburn (Kan.) 162 and Evangel (Mo.) 173. Lincoln (Mo.) placed behind JBU at 236, while Cottey College was ninth at 263.

"Friday night was a very good start to the season for us," said head coach Scott Schochler. "The women ran well, with most of them running faster than they did at this meet last year. We are changing the tactics that we use in races this year, so once they get comfortable with what we are asking them to do, I think the performance gains are going to be very significant."

Sophomore Carly Coney placed 38th overall to lead JBU with a 5,000-meter finish of 21:28.67.

Sophomore Reagan Roth was 46th at 22:14.00, with senior Abigail Melby finishing 50th at 22:42.01, junior Jennifer Poole 57th at 23:31.35, junior Kaitlyn Collier 58th at 23:39.52, junior Erin Haley 60th at 23:51.40, sophomore Haley Newcomb 64th at 24:27.63 and junior Abigail Danley 75th at 28:01.88.

"Abbie's performance was a welcomed sight for the team," added Schochler. "It was her best race since this time last year. Hopefully she continues to build on this performance throughout her senior year. I am definitely excited to see their improvement throughout the rest of the season."

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