The Koalas Cross Country team raced in the USC Upstate Invitational on Saturday, October 5th. Columbia College finished 7th out of 11 scoring teams. The weather was a beautiful 65 degrees at the start which helped yield very strong performances from the Koalas.
Leading the way was freshman superstar Makayla Hollifield setting another season's best, and lifetime personal record of 20:56. Her time placed her 20th overall in a field of 98 runners.
Just behind Makayla were a trio of Koalas who all set season's best times. Freshman Esther Ekundayo, sophomore Hannah Mishkoff, and freshman Valeria Bogdanova, clocked times of 21:15, 21:43, and 21:50, respectively.
The Koalas #5 team scorer was freshman Gabrielle Huggins who improved her season's best time by 1 minute and 57 seconds with a finish time of 22:36. That time was good enough for 52nd place.
The Koalas finished in 7th place and were only 16 points away from taking 6th place away from Division I Winthrop University. However, the Koalas did finish in front of the Division II programs of Converse College, Lander, Newberry, Claflin, and USC-Aiken.
The team set a season's best collective time of 1:48:22 for an average of 21:40. That's an improvement of almost 4 minutes from their previous race, and an improvement of their team average by 44 seconds.
The Columbia College cross country team's next meet will be on October 19th at USC-Beaufort for the Sand Shark Invitational.