XC Begins Season With Solid Marks
Sept. 1, 2017
WACO, Texas -- The TCU cross country teams kicked off the 2017 campaign at the Bear Twilight Invitational on Friday night. Led by two seniors, both teams finished with solid marks and performances to open the season.
The women started the night with the 4K. Senior Nicole Hicks led the way for the Horned Frogs, finishing 16th with a mark of 14:19.1. Hicks finished nearly 20 seconds faster than a year ago.
"She finished strong," cross country coach Jennifer Fazioli said. "I'm used to her being steady throughout the race. This time she picked it up the entire way and actually had a kick. I'm really encouraged about where she will be at the end of the season."
Making her collegiate debut, freshman Evelyn Mandel was the second Horned Frog to cross the finish line. Mandel came in 19th, recording a mark of 14:25.1.
"She's still feeling her way into it," Fazioli said. "She's going to be a blue-collar runner. She's gritty and she'll never give up. I'm excited to see what she can do later this season."
Lindsay Tomaini finished one spot behind Mandel, finishing in 14:31.5. The next four Horned Frogs finished after each other, starting with Elizabeth Baker in 24th (14:40.2). Dominique Tilly followed at 25th (14:45.5), trailed by Kirsten Johnson (14:48.7) and Erin Barth (14:50.2).
"They did exactly what I told them to do which was to start conservative and take a step forward after a mile," Fazioli said. "They all picked it up and moved up over the course of the race. The majority of the girls who have raced here before raced faster this year. We've made really quick progress."
On the men's side, senior Henry Butz was the first Horned Frog across the finish line, recording a mark of 19:36.4.
"I think he ran really well," Fazioli said. "He was strong the entire way and moved up really well. It should give him a lot of confidence and I want to see him finish his senior year out well."
TCU is off next week before returning to action at the Texas Preview, scheduled for Thursday, September 14.
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