NASHVILLE, Tn — The Belmont women's cross country team returns to action this Saturday to race in the Commodore Classic 5K run, hosted by Vanderbilt University, at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.
The team won their previous meet in convincing fashion, as junior Kortney Schardt posted the best individual time of the Belmont Opener with a time of 18:19.08.
Though the Bruins did extremely well in their previous race, this race will not be easy by any means.
"We've had 2 weeks to improve since the Belmont Opener and being able to race on the same course allows me to really evaluate the improvement of the girl's team," says Kate Bucknam, assistant coach for the Bruins cross country team. "We're still not at full strength with some of the girls still working their way back from injuries, but with this race being much more competitive and elite I'm expecting see some good things based on how we've been looking physically and mentally in workouts."
Of the schools that Belmont will be competing against, some of those elite teams that the women will be facing are Ohio State and OVC opponent Eastern Kentucky, who are both ranked in the top 40 nationally.
Senior Mallory Young, a native from Signal Mountain, Tn, had this to say on facing Eastern Kentucky:
"It's exciting. We do compete with them throughout the entire season, so this will be our first taste of what the competition is going to be like. It's really great to compete with them because that's who we're facing at regionals, and we have high goals at regionals, so it will be good to see where we stack up against them."
In the previous Commodore Classic, Belmont finished 8th in a field of 17 schools. Former Belmont runner, Jessica King, finished the highest for Belmont at #35 overall, and Kortney Schardt had the second highest finish at #46 overall.
Even though the team is young and not quite at full strength, it will be a good race for Belmont to see exactly where they stack up against top level competition.
For more information about the meet, go to https://vucommodores.com/sports/2018/7/10/sports-w-xc-commodore-classic-html.aspx.
The meet will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sep. 15. The race will be held at Percy Warner Park, 2500 Old Hickory Blvd. in Nashville, Tn.