NASHVILLE - The Vanderbilt women's cross country team ran a complete race in the 14th annual Commodore Classic and were rewarded with a runner-up finish in the 17 team women's field on Saturday at Percy Warner Park.
The women finished behind Ohio State out the Big Ten and just head of SEC rival, Missouri - two teams that advanced to the 2016 NCAA Championships. The men's team placed 11th and were paced by Jason Vincze's top-50 finish.
Seniors Megan Huebner and Maddie Criscione paced the women's team as both turned in top- 10 performances in a field highlighted by 2016 NCAA cross country champion, Karissa Schweizer from Missouri, who won the women's race with a time of 16:25.4 - a new women's record at the race. Huebner ran a 17:39.02 to finish in seventh place and shaved nearly 10 seconds off her 5K time from the Belmont Opener on Sept. 2. Criscione ran a 17.47.8 to take ninth place.
In total, the Commodore women placed seven of their 10 runners in the top 50 and with their second-place finish defeated two nationally-ranked squads in Missouri (No. 14) and Eastern Michigan (No. 21).
For the men Jason Vincze continues to lead the pack. The junior from Plano, Texas finished 46th with a time of 26.11.18. Evan Suzman (26:49.1) and Aidan Livingston (26:53.3) were the next to cross the line for the Commodores in 79th and 80th place, respectively.
In total, the Commodores placed four runners in the top 100 of the 149 runner field on the men's side.
The Commodores are back in action on Sept. 30 when both squads head to Louisville, Ky., to run in the Louisville Classic.
Head Coach Steve Keith
"I thought the event was great and all the colleges really love coming here. I think we put on a solid race and it's really fun to have a great venue and let the kids get out and compete with nothing holding them back. As a team, I thought we were real competitive on both the men's and women's side - just one more step along the way as we get closer to (championships season) in October and November."
Assistant Coach Rebekah Smeltzer
"Beating an in-conference team and two teams that qualified for nationals last year is really encouraging at this point in the season, but now the work is just beginning."
Junior Jason Vincze
"Last race, we tried to pack up as a team in the first mile and it worked out pretty well for us, but we found out we weren't aggressive enough. So this race we went in with a more aggressive mindset. Going in to this race, we stayed conservative for the first mile and then just really attack on the second and third miles."
Senior Megan Huebner
"This is our home meet and the team was really pumped to come out here and defend our course. We had some really great teams come out and I think everyone showed up today ready to race. It was hot out there, but everybody pushed through and I was proud of my girls."
Missouri's Karissa Schweizer's time of 16:24.4 is a new course record defeating the previous course record of 16:43.4 set in 2015. Schweizer also ran a 16:46.7 on the course in 2016.
For more information on the Vanderbilt cross country teams check them out on the website at www.vucommodores.com and on Twitter at @vandyxctrack.
Team - Top 5
1. MTSU - 64 pts
2. Butler - 68 pts
3. Lipscomb - 92 pts
4. Miami (Oh) - 101 pts
5. Belmont - 110 pts
11. Vanderbilt - 325 pts
46. Jason Vincze - 26:11.18
79. Evan Suzman - 26:49.1
80. Aidan Livingston - 26:52. 3
96. Caleb Van Geffen - 27:15.9
102. Harrison Thomas - 27:24.4
112. Andrew Irvine - 27:55.2
129. Sam DeFabrizio - 28:44.2
131. Edward Harpstead - 28:48.1
135. Waqqas Fazili - 29:04.2
142. Caleb Casolaro - 29:40.0
Team - Top 5
1. Ohio State - 64 pts
2. Vanderbilt - 93 pts
3. Missouri - 103 pts
4. Eastern Michigan - 123 pts
5. Lipscomb - 127 pts
7. Megan Huebner - 17:39.2
9. Maddie Criscione - 17:47.8
22. Ginger Hutton - 18:03.0
29. Reagan Bustamante - 18:08.3
32. Kendall Derry - 18:17. 0
36. Gillian Mortimer - 18:20.1
49. Mailin Struck - 18:28.4
61. Devon Grisbaum - 18:40.9
85. Kacie Breeding - 19:09.2
96. Anna Grace Morgan - 19:26.0