LOUISVILLE, Ky. - - Belmont University men's cross country finished third in a field of 29 teams at the 2018 Greater Louisville Classic Saturday.
Freshman Jacob McLeod continued his fine form, placing sixth overall.
The Bruins were able to finish ahead of the two schools that beat them in the Commodore Classic, host school, Louisville, and OVC rival, Eastern Kentucky.
Not only did the Bruins finish eight places higher than at last year's edition, it marked the program's best-ever placement in the meet.
"It was a real good effort on the guys side," said Belmont head coach Jeff Langdon. "Our top five were all under 25 minutes, which we have never done before. We finished third as a team, just a couple of points behind Kentucky, which is a really good team, and not far out of winning. It was a good performance, but we know we still have some work ahead of us."
Indeed, they were very close to winning, as they trailed the leader, NCAA Division III stalwart North Central (IL) College, only by 15 team points, and Kentucky by only seven team points.
Beyond the top five finishers for the Bruins finishing under 25 minutes, the next two were not far behind - speaking to the Bruin depth and form.
The younger McLeod finished with a sparkling time of 23:55.9 in seasonable running conditions. He also finished with a personal best average mile at 4:48.
"I just wanted to come in here and just compete," he said. "I just wanted to race hard and earn a spot in the top group."
Brother Kaleb McLeod was closely behind his brother, finishing 11th with a time of 24:05.5.
Just behind him was Matt Edwards, finishing 17th with a time of 24:26.5.
Though the Bruins ran a solid race, the group still believes they have more room for growth.
"I think as a team we ran really well today, but we still have a lot of potential," Kaleb McLeod said. "We all still feel like we have a lot of potential to keep plugging away and keep improving."
Belmont will return to action on Oct. 13, as they will race in the NCAA Pre-Nationals in Madison, Wisconsin.
6. Jacob McLeod, Fr., 23:55.9
11. Kaleb McLeod, Jr., 24:05.5
17. Matt Edwards, Sr., 24:26.5
37. Declan McManus, Jr., 24:45.8
49. Aidan Thompson, Jr., 24:56.0
82. Taylor Vroon, Fr., 25:22.6
156. Kaden Eaton, Sr.,25:57.6