TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- Paced in the second-straight race by senior Hannah Denton (Burns, Tenn.), the Belmont University women's cross country team placed 11th (350 points) in a competitive field of 26 teams Friday morning at the Crimson Classic on the campus of the University of Alabama.
Denton, who placed 29th among a field of 288 participants with a time of 21:33.7, helped push the Bruins ahead of the likes of South Carolina, nationally ranked Mississippi, LSU, Tennessee and Florida State and OVC counterpart Tennessee Tech. Denton led the Bruins at the Irish Invitational on Sept. 30 with an impressive finish and carried her momentum gained to Tuscaloosa.
The host Crimson Tide claimed the event title with 76 points while Kentucky finished as the runner up.
"I'm proud of the girls effort today - we saw some definite improvements from our performance at Notre Dame. I'm excited to see the girls put into action what we've been working through the last couple weeks and we still know there is a lot more to come. Hannah Denton bettered her 6k time by 46 seconds and led our group for the second race in a row," remarked Assistant Coach Ashley Casavant.
Joining the veteran Denton in the top 100, was Kortney Schardt (Lindenhurst, Ill.) who placed 73rd with a 22:12.2 along with junior Jessica King (Fishers, Ind.) who placed 96th with a mark of 22:36.3 in her second race of the season.
Kierra Weems (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) finished 127th with a 22:59.4 and Sierra Lax (Columbus, Ind.) registered a 23:03.2 to place 130th to round out the BU top five.
Senior Molly Foster (Johnson City, Tenn.) recorded a 23:19.5 slating her 148th, freshman Maria Brauer (Oakford, Ill.) produced a 23:43.5 ranking her 174th, Mallory Young (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) ran a 24:07.6 finishing 196th and Gabrielle Yatauro (Huntington Beach, Calif.) placed 207th at mark of 24:26.2 to finalize the Bruin entries.
"It was also really exciting to have sophomore Mallory Young back in action after a near six week racing break. We are confident that she will be an important part of the puzzle come championship time," added Casavant.
Belmont resumes action on Oct. 29 when it hosts the OVC Cross Country Championships at Percy Warner Park. For more information on the OVC Championships visit here.