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June 8, 2023 1:26 am

Trojans finish ninth at Royals Challenge

CHARLOTTE – In their first action in nearly three weeks, the Trojans competed at the Royals Cross Country Challenge at the McAlpine Creek Park Oct. 7.

The University of Mount Olive women’s cross country team placed ninth at the event with 248 points. Ave Maria captured the team title with 91 points behind three runners in the top-15 overall. West Georgia finished in second place with 123 points and Fayetteville State placed third overall with 167 points.

Freshman Ciara Sulton led the team and finished 27th overall in a field of more than 200 runners with a time 20:51. She posted an average mile pace of 6:42 and jumped 17 spots in the standings from the 2.4-kilometer split to the finish line. Sulton has been the team’s top runner in all three races this year.

Sophomore Celine Fleurilus finished in 44th place with a career-best time of 21:15.6 over the five-kilometer course. She vaulted 20 places in the standings over the final half of the race. Freshman Natalie Baldwin registered a time of 21:33.5 to place 52nd overall.

Fellow sophomore Jacqueline Thring recorded a time of 22:46.6 to finish in 86th place and leaped six spots between the 2.4-kilometer split and the finish. Sophomore Paige Wittebord rounded out the team scorers with a time 23:06.3 to place 96th overall and jumped 10 places over the final half of the course. Sophomore Caroline Allred also competed at the event and registered a time of 26:18.3 to place 152nd overall.