Members of the Presbyterian College men’s and women’s cross country teams took part in the Carolina Challenge on Friday and Saturday afternoon in Columbia.
Four members of the men’s team competed, along with one from the women’s team. This was only the second time that members of PC’s cross country teams have taken part in an indoor track and field event.
Each of the four participants from the men’s team, junior William Wise, sophomore Neel Taber, and freshmen Luke Harmon and Zack Kochert competed in two events. Wise ran in the 800-meter and 3000-meter races, Taber in the 400-meter and the mile, Harmon in the mile and 3000-meter, and Kochert in the 800 meter and the mile.
Taber completed the 400-meter race in 56.00 seconds, which is the fastest a Blue Hose has done so in the Division I era. The Blue Hose also set five personal bests this weekend: Wise in the 3000-meter (9:31.15) and 800-meter (2:05.56), Kochert in the 800-meter (2:06.75) and mile (4:46.32), and Harmon in the mile (5:02.87).
Freshman Julia Keen represented the women’s team at the Carolina Challenge. She became the first Blue Hose to run the mile at a track event. She completed the race in 6:15.10.
In Texas, the Blue Hose women won tennis matches against Texas State in San Marcos and Incarnate Word in San Antonio.
Presbyterian needed to battle the elements to win their match 4-1 against Incarnate Word. The match was delayed multiple hours due to rain in the San Antonio area and slick playing conditions.
“It was a long day of delays but Incarnate Word was great to make sure that the match got played,” said head coach Steve Brooks. “This was a very tough match. The team fought hard against a strong team.”
In singles play, Taylor won in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2, to get things started. Calais earned her second win in a three set contest, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. Sydney Patton clinched the match for the Blue Hose after rallying from being down 3-5 in the second set after dropping the first. She took home a 1-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory on court one.
The 4-3 victory over Texas State was even more hard-fought.
The Blue Hose needed the No. 1 pairing of Patton and Jessica Leeman to secure the doubles. After being down the entire set, PC was able to break serve at 6-5 and then clinch the set and doubles point on Leeman’s serve to finish 7-5. The pairing of Beth Taylor and Katie Thompson grabbed a 6-3 victory in the third slot.
Leeman finished her singles match first and secured the second point for the Blue Hose with a 6-3, 6-4 win. The Bobcats rallied and won the next three matches, taking a 3-2 lead. Thompson evened the score with a 6-2, 6-3 win. In the deciding match, Taylor came away with a 7-5, 6-2 win for herself, after rattling off four straight winning games and the match victory for PC.
The men’s tennis won twice at home against Belmont Abbey and on the road at Davidson.
PC’s fifth victory of the season on Saturday afternoon at Davidson wasa tightly contested match, 4-3.
The pairings of Max Benson and Jaime Castillo-Lopez and Alberto Conde and Nicholas McKinney each had to fight to earn 7-6 victories in the Nos. 2 and 3 slots to earn the doubles point for the Blue Hose.
Benson won his singles match on the third court in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Classmate McKinney earned a three set victory in the number four singles match, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. Castillo-Lopez played in the deciding match and was able to secure a win for PC with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 at No. 5.
Before leaving town, the Blue Hose had earned a pair of 7-0 victories against Belmont Abbey on Friday afternoon. The Blue Hose did not lose a single set in either match.
All nine Blue Hose picked up multiple wins on the afternoon. Oscar Alvarez, Jonathan Bedard, Jaime Castillo-Lopez, Alberto Conde, Vance Mercer, and Elias Svensson each won three matches. Max Benson, Nicholas McKinney, and Daniel Stenger each recorded a pair of victories.