Pioneer men win Koala Classic championship, women place second

Pioneer men win Koala Classic championship, women place second

COLUMBIA, S.C. --- Tusculum placed four runners in the top 10 and won the men's team championship at the Koala Classic cross country meet, hosted by Columbia College at the SOAR Athletic Fields on Saturday morning.

The Pioneer women finished second out of 10 teams at the Koala Classic, trailing only Division I South Carolina, Sophomore Alissa Furches was the only non-South Carolina runner in the top 10, finishing in seventh place overall.

Tusculum will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 21 when they participate in the South Atlantic Conference Men's and Women's Cross Country Championship at Southside Park in Newton, North Carolina.

The Pioneers finished with 46 points as a team, edging out Bob Jones (50 points) and Francis Marion (54 points) for the championship. Columbia International (89 points), Lander (133) and Claflin (145) rounded out the field of six teams.

Individually, freshman Zac Branham finished in third place after covering the 8-kilometer course in 29:02.3. Freshman Jackson Beason was fifth in 29:19.4, followed by fellow freshman Will Cronin in seventh place at 29:48.3. Sophomore Mason Snelson was the Pioneers' fourth top-10 finisher, placing 10th overall in 30:11.2. Junior Will Noel was the Pioneers' fifth finisher, crossing the line 31st overall with a time of 32:53.9. Also competing for the Pioneers were freshman Alex Haffcke, who turned in a time of 33:10.7 and finished in 32nd place, along with freshman Isaac Hybarger who took 46th place with a time of 36:15.7.

Javier Bustos Jaimes of Francis Marion was the men's individual race winner, crossing the line in 28:41.6. David Elliott of Columbia International was the runner-up by nine seconds in a time of 28:50.4, with the Pioneers' Branham coming home 20 seconds behind Jaimes for third place overall.

Furches finished in the middle of the large pack of South Carolina runners that dominated the race, taking seventh place in the 5-kilometer race with a time of 21:09.0. Her time was 38 seconds ahead of the second-best non-Division I finisher and allowed the Pioneers to finish in second place with 92 points. The hosts from Columbia College finished third with 97 points, followed by Francis Marion (106) and Bob Jones (115) in the top five.

Freshman Addison Aguilar turned in a top-20 performance for the Pioneers, finishing 16th in a time of 22:15.3. Sophomore Brooklyn Smith was 23rd overall with a time of 23:06.9, followed in 27th place by sophomore Emily Stoklosa in a time of 23:25.2. Junior Deondra Thomas crossed the line in 37th place in 24:14.6, with freshman Hayden Fobare rounding out the Tusculum contingent in 46th place with a time of 25:38.8.

Kaylee Wessel ran to a dominating individual victory for South Carolina, covering the course in 19:35.3 to defeat teammate Morgan Lee by nearly 55 seconds. The Gamecocks' Rachel Hensler was third with a time of 20:41.6.

Koala Classic
SOAR Fields - Columbia, S.C.

Men's Race (8K)
Team Results
Pl Team, Pts
1. Tusculum, 46
2. Bob Jones, 50
3. Francis Marion, 54
4. Columbia International, 89
5. Lander, 133
6. Claflin, 145

Tusculum Individual Results
Pl Runner, Time
3. Zac Branham, 29:02.3
5. Jackson Beason, 29:19.4
7. Will Cronin, 29:48.3
10. Mason Snelson, 30:11.2
31. Will Noel, 32:53.9
32. Alex Haffcke, 33:10.7
46. Isaac Hybarger, 36:15.7

Women's Race (5K)
Team Results
Pl Team, Pts
1. South Carolina, 15
2. Tusculum, 92
3. Columbia (S.C.), 97
4. Francis Marion, 106
5. Bob Jones, 115
6. Brenau, 161
7. St. Andrews, 188
8. Columbia International, 211
9. Claflin, 230
10. Lander, 239

Tusculum Individual Results
Pl Runner, Time
7. Alissa Furches, 21:09.0
16. Addison Aguilar, 22:15.3
23. Brooklyn Smith, 23:06.9
27. Emily Stoklosa, 23:25.2
37. Deondra Thomas, 24:14.6
46. Hayden Fobare, 25:38.8