Dalton State cross country gets fourth win in four tries

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Dalton State College's cross country team picked up a win at a meet in Carrollton Saturday.

Dalton State College's cross country team picked up a win Saturday, marking the fourth win for the Lady Roadrunners in four meets this season.

The Lady Roadrunners traveled to the University of West Georgia in Carrollton to compete in the Coach Gary Wilson Invitational Saturday for a muddy race due to heavy rains Friday and Saturday.

When the gun went off, it was clear that the Lady Roadrunners were going to take control early. In the initial sprint off the starting line, the top four Roadrunners were all at the front of the pack. By the time they were at the first mile, the Roadrunners had those four runners in the top 10, with number five just outside the top 10. As the race developed, they improved overall positioning steadily and by the time they hit the finish line, they had placed five runners in the top seven, scoring 19 points with Auburn-Montgomery in second place with 49 points. This was the Lady Roadrunners' fourth win in as many tries in 2020.

Leading the way for the first time this year was sophomore Kathryn Vradenburgh, as she pulled out the overall win with a time of 20:04 on the 5K (3.1-mile) course. It was her fastest time of year despite the difficult course.

"Kathryn was back to a spot she had become accustomed to last year," said Dalton State head coach Dean Thompson. "After dealing with an injury, she is rounding into shape in time for our conference meet when it all really counts. It was great to see Kathryn run like she does when she is running well."

She was just ahead of second place overall finisher, junior Alex Gass, who posted a time of 20:18.

Last week's SSAC Runner of the Week, freshman Riley Jo Ford, finished in fourth place overall with a time of 20:51. Finishing just two seconds later in fifth was senior Kay Vradenburgh. Rounding out the top five, in seventh overall, was sophomore Kate Roberts who finished in 21:17.

Freshman Kayla Mattox, who ran her fastest time of the year despite the tough circumstances, finished 18th overall with a time of 22:24. Sophomore Rebecca Poe and junior Rachel Ward were 24th and 29th respectively.

"It was great to have a race on a course when time didn't mean much," said Thompson. "I don't believe there was a single flat spot on the entire course. Add to that the fact that it was so wet, and you can throw the times out the window. It was all about competing hard."

The Lady Roadrunners are back in action on Oct. 24 at the NAIA Southern States Challenge hosted by South Carolina-Beaufort in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

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