Freshmen Lead the Way for Koalas

The Cross Country team traveled to Charlotte on Friday afternoon to run in the Queen City Invite hosted by Queens University. The meet welcomed 47 different colleges, which made for a massive and competitive field of 316 finishers.

 The women's 5K race kicked off at 5pm in very balmy conditions. Temperatures were hovering around 90 degrees all day which makes for tough racing conditions.

Leading the way for the Koalas was freshman superstar Makayla Hollifield. She finished in 120th place with a time of 21:02, which is a lifetime PR for her.

 Not too far behind were freshman Esther Ekundayo and freshman Valeria Bogdanova who finished 145th and 150th respectively. Their respective times of 21:52 and 22:06 were season's best performances for both runners.

Rounding out the top 5 Koalas were sophomore Hannah Mishkoff with a time of 22:39, and sophomore Diana Gleaton who ran 24:25.

 Freshman Gabrielle Huggins was the 6th Koala finisher with a season's best 24:33. The next Koala finisher was freshman Victoria Heiser-Whatley in 25:57. Just behind Tori was sophomore Shelby Winn with a season's best 26:00. Freshman Jessica Heiser-Whatley rounded out the team's finishers with a time of 27:14.

 The Koalas finished 27th out of 39 scoring teams in a field that included many NCAA Division I and II colleges. Columbia College finished ahead of such Division II colleges as Johnson C. Smith, Shaw University, Barton College, Lees-McRae, West Alabama, Savannah State, and Coker College.

 The Koala Cross Country team's next race will be Saturday, October 5th in Spartanburg, SC for the USC Upstate Invitational.