Photos from today's Belmont Opener Cross Country Meet. The Bruins swept the team titles, while Jacob McLeod and Kortney Schardt captured the individual titles. Find results from the races here: https://t.co/TcmGLm7Psp pic.twitter.com/MdwLtVGyvb— Belmont Athletics (@GoBelmontBruins) August 31, 2018
Nashville, Tenn. — Belmont University women's cross country began the fall season in fine form, winning a scorching hot Belmont Opener.
Junior Kortney Schardt placed first as five Bruin runners in all finished in the top ten.
As a team, the Bruins finished with a team score of 28, which was four points ahead of the second place team, Vanderbilt.
Schardt finished nearly four seconds ahead of the second place finisher by pulling away in the final stretch and giving it her all until she crossed the finish line. She posted a time of 18:19.08.
Alena Sapienza-Wright (18:22:81) and Grace Jensen (18:34.66) of Vanderbilt finished 2nd and 3rd, but right behind them was senior Courtney Alama of Belmont coming in 4th place and posting a time of 18:42.46. The other three runners in the top ten today were Claire Cheeseman in 6th place (19:02.52), Sierra Lax in 8th place (19:25.65), and Taylor Cuneo in 9th place (19:29.43).
The Bruins overall were able to run a consistent race, and though the result was an encouraging one for Belmont, the coaching staff viewed the race as merely the beginning of a longer fall journey.
"It was obviously a great start to this season," says Kate Bucknam, assistant coach for Belmont Cross Country. "It showed a lot of things that we could work on, but it was definitely a good starting point."
The Bruins will return to action in the Commodore Classic on Saturday, Sept. 15, also at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.
Fans are encouraged to check out race content on Instagram @gobelmontbruins.