Men's Cross Country Places Second of 11 at Belmont Opener
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont men's cross country team placed second out of 11 teams at the Belmont Opener on Friday night at Percy Warner Park. Junior Matt Miller (LaPorte, Ind.) led the way with a fifth place finish, crossing the line in 15:38.25 on the 5K course.
The Bruins were just 16 points behind Kentucky, who won the team title and individual title after Luis Orta finished in 15:22.40. Belmont placed just ahead of Tennessee, who was ranked fifth in the recent USTFCCCA South Regional Rankings. The Vols scored 84 points to BU's 78, while nearby Lipscomb and Vanderbilt took fourth and fifth with 84 and 93 points, respectively.
Miller, who was competing in his first cross country race for Belmont after transferring from South Alabama, led the way for the Bruins. Sophomores Erick Kigen (Eldoret, Kenya) and Josh Helton (Franklin, Tenn.) were next to cross the line for BU, recording times of 15:46.35 and 15:49.53. The pair placed eighth and 11th, respectively.
"We all did pretty well today battling the elements," Miller said. "I was happy to execute our game plan, which was to take it out conservatively, and then finish strong. When I came here Coach Langdon expected me to take a leadership role. I think that I, along with the other upper classmen, have done a good job of that so far."
Freshman Evan Scruton (Columbia, Ind.) and sophomore Brandon Mahaney (Lafayette, Tenn.) rounded out the Belmont top five. The former placed 26th in a time of 16:14.86, while the later crossed the line in 16:16.75 to take 28th place.
"Overall, I think the guys ran really well," Head Coach Jeff Langdon said. "It's great to see Josh Helton really stepping up, and Matt Miller really ran a great race."
The Bruins will return to Percy Warner Park for the Commodore Classic on Saturday September 17.