Maryville College opened the 2019 Cross-Country season on Friday night, as the Maryville women Lea Mulligan and Lilly Simms led the Scots to an overall victory in the Covenant College Mountaintop Invitational.
Mulligan took first place individually, as the junior tallied a course record at 12:41.4 – six tenths better than the previous mark. Simms finished just behind her for second place individually with a time of 12:56.7.
"We knew we had a chance to lead out the race," Head Coach Tyson Murphy said. "Lea and Lilly executed really well, but it was the fight from Hannah, Maleah and Mikala in the three, four and five spots where the race was so close."
Maryville bested host Covenant College by more than 10 seconds on the average time. The Orange and Garnet had five harriers in the top 10 spots.
On the men's side of competition, Daniel Beckett posted a top-five finish. The senior from Oak Ridge, Tenn. placed fifth individually with a time of 17:13.1.
He led the Maryville men to a third place finish on the day.
"Daniel ran his best race on that course, but several other runners were just faster," Murphy said. "Ryan, Richard and Cooper all bested their previous times on the course. We just need to develop the back end of our race. Overall, we're much improved from last season."
In the women's two-mile race, freshman Hannah Mattison ranked seventh with a time of 14:47.3, while sophomore Malea Wooten ranked ninth at 15:14.6. Mikala Wooten – a senior – placed 11th with a time of 15:40, while Rebecca Starks ranked 15th. She had a time of 16:49.8, while Emily Cooper ran a 16:57.5 for a 16th-place tally.
As a team, Covenant ranked second with an average of 14:26.72, while Cleveland State placed third at 17:16.3.
On the men's side of competition, Covenant College took home the team crown with an average split of 17:25.58. Cleveland State ranked second with 17:41.78, while Maryville placed third at 19:52.52.
Beckett led the way, while Ryan Lay ranked 13th at 18:43.80. Richard Martin placed 22nd with a time of 20:47.00, while Cooper Harrison followed him in 23rd. Harrison's time was 20:53.2, while Parker Owen ranked 25th at 21:45.5. Lee Parker ranked 28th at 24:45.1, while Matthew Finstad placed 29th at 26:16.8.
Maryville will have a couple weeks off before the Scots travel to Berea, Ky. MC will take part in the Mike and Mary Kay Invitational slated for Saturday, Sept. 14.