The Columbia College Cross Country team opened their season this weekend at the Carolina Challenge 5k. The meet was hosted by the University of South Carolina Gamecocks at the Sandhills Research Center in Columbia, SC. The meet attracted several NCAA Division I schools including South Carolina, Clemson, The Citadel, and Presbyterian College.
The Koalas tied Division II Benedict College in the point standings with 142, but got bumped down to a 6th place finish based on tie-breaks.
Leading the Koalas was freshman Makayla Hollifield with a time of 21:38, which was only 4 seconds off of her all-time best. A trio of Koalas followed being freshman Esther Ekundayo (22:35), sophomore Hannah Mishkoff (22:48), and sophomore Diana Gleaton (22:51).
Finishing in the Koala's #5 scoring position was sophomore Ayanah Howard with a 23:58. Rounding out the team's performance were 3 Koalas making their collegiate cross country debuts, which were freshman Victoria Heiser-Whatley (25:34), sophomore Shelby Winn (26:18), and freshman Grace Wright (27:21).
The cross country team will travel to Erskine College on Friday afternoon for the Due West Opener.