Redshirt sophomore Jonathan Pelham led the charge with the top individual collegiate finish to highlight the UGA cross country team’s sweep at the Gene Mullin Invitational in Greenville, S.C., on Saturday morning.
Pelham was second overall with a 5k time of 15:47.61 as the Bulldog men scored a near perfect 18 points to finish in front of meet host Furman (80), Flagler (82) and six other teams.
On the women’s side, junior Lauren Hovis finished fourth overall in the 5k race thanks to a 18:49.21 to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Georgia scored 29 points to top Flagler (64), Furman (108) and six other squads.
“This was a fun, productive day for us and I think we got exactly what we want,” said Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff. “The women continued the momentum they had at the Paul Short meet last week and raced smart and hard. It was nice to see a senior, Lauren Hovis lead us today and I was pleased how Millie Bergey, who is a freshman, raced today.
“The men competed aggressively and I was excited to see Jonathan Pelham step up and lead this group. Also, to see a freshman like Darr Smith move up and come across the line third was promising. It is always fun to get two team victories and now we are eager to get to a challenging Pre-Nats next weekend.”
In the men’s 5k, freshman Darr Smith was the second collegiate finisher and third overall after clocking a 15:57.15. A trio of Bulldogs finished sixth through eighth to round out Georgia’s scoring. Redshirt freshman Jack Bradley ran a 16:02.45 for sixth-place honors while senior Terrell Estime (16:02.49) was seventh and redshirt sophomore Ryan Peppenhorst (16:05.98) was eighth.
Sophomore Tiffany Yue crossed the finish line at the Furman Golf Course one spot behind Hovis in the first race of the morning thanks to a 19:03.38. Fellow sophomore Ansley Heavern was seventh (19:05.49) to be Georgia’s third scorer.
The Lady Bulldogs final two runners in their top five were junior Caroline Dickey and freshman Millie Bergey. Dickey completed the race in 19:28.89 and Bergey managed to score for UGA with a 19:40.25.
All 10 of Georgia’s scorers from last week’s Paul Short Run trained through this weekend in preparation for next weekend’s NCAA Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky.
This was the fourth of five regular-season meets for the Bulldogs. UGA has just the Pre-Nationals left during the regular season. Following the Southeastern Conference Championships in Athens on Oct. 27, the Bulldogs will race at the NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 10 and then prepare for the NCAA Championships at Louisville on Nov. 18.