Cross-country Trailblazers blasted through Flagstaff, Arizona, to secure top spots in their season’s opening meet Saturday.
Ranked in the open division, the women’s team raced 2.6 miles to secure a first place overall win for Dixie State University, while the men’s team ran 4.5 miles and placed second overall.
Alyssa Haring, a freshman undeclared major from Riverside, California, led the women’s team to victory as she secured second place in the women’s open division race with the time of 16:56.8.
“I went in feeling nervous and excited,” Haring said. “I hadn’t raced that distance before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.”
Coach Justin Decker said he was pleased with the team and said the 21 new runners recruited this season ran well.
“The whole top six women finishers from [DSU] are freshmen,” Decker said. “They ran a very strong race, and it’s a good sign for us going forward into the season.”
As for the men’s team, Hunter Chamberlain, a sophomore Spanish major from St. George, took second place in the men’s open division with a time of 25:01.2.
“I wish we had practiced more over the summer,” Chamberlain said. “It’s against [National Collegiate Athletic Association] regulations to practice with our coach over the summer, but I think I would have been more ready if I’d gotten more practice time in over the summer.”
Chamberlain said he’s looking to get a personal best in the 8 kilometer race the men’s team will be running in their next meet, a goal time of 25:30.
Leading up to the next race, Decker and the team will be hosting an informal event — a “future squad race” as he put it. It will be held on Wednesday Sept. 7 at Legend Solar Stadium at 8 a.m.
“It’s open to anyone who wants to come watch, just a friendly scrimmage with racers broken up into three teams,” Decker said.
The next official race for the cross-country Trailblazers is their meet at California State University, San Bernardino, Sept. 24.