LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- On the kind of day that needed a PR time, the Belmont men's cross country team got four of them.
The Bruins' top four finishers at the ultra-competitive Greater Louisville Classic all posted personal record times. That lifted Belmont to 11th place out of 30 Division I teams in the elite men's Gold race, which featured many of the best runners from around the country, including seven teams ranked in this week's NCAA Division I poll.
Leading the way for a second straight race was sophomore Kaleb McLeod (Soperton, Ga.). His 8K time of 24:17.97, good enough for 33rd place out of 262 racers, shaved nearly 30 seconds of his previous best. He ran an unattached 24:45.4 while redshirting last season.
Senior Matt Edwards (Glamorgan, Wales) PR'd for a second straight meet, lowering his all-time 8K best another 37 seconds to 24:33.98 in finishing 47th.
Sophomore Chase Ballard (Columbus, Ind.) dropped about 28 seconds with a 25:06.80, good enough for 84th place, and sophomore Ben Weisel's (Nashville, Tenn.) 25:16.30 was almost exactly 30 seconds better than his previous best. He took 103rd.
Senior Luke Evans (Columbus, Ohio) rounded out the Belmont placers in 115th at 25:25.54.
"The guys really stepped up and ran well," Belmont cross country head coach Jeff Langdon said. "It was the first real challenging race for them and they were right there running with the big boys."
The Bruins totaled 338 team points in placing 11th in the elite men's Gold Race.
Louisville's E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park will be the site of the NCAA National Championships in November. The chance to see the course drew as many as 3,000 runners from around the country for three men's and three women's races Saturday. Top-ranked men's team Northern Arizona came away with the Louisville Classic team title with just 19 points, including a 1-2-3-4 finish at the top individually.
Belmont returns to competition Friday, Oct. 13, with a trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Crimson Classic.
33. Kaleb McLeod, sr., 24:17.97*
47. Matt Edwards, sr., 24:33.98*
84. Chase Ballard, so., 25:06.80*
103. Ben Weisel, so., 25:16.30*
115. Luke Evans, sr., 25:25.54
152. Matt Blivin, sr., 26:05.51
160. Daniel White, fr., 26:12.16