CARTERSVILLE, Ga. --- Nicole McMillen finished second in the college women's 5-kilometer race as Tusculum University competed at the Wingfoot XC Classic, hosted by the Atlanta Track Club at Sam Smith Park Friday evening.
McMillen was beaten at the line by Carolien Millenaar of South Alabama by less than a second after leading at three of the four checkpoints in the race. McMillen was timed at 17:37.0, just behind Millenaar's winning time of 17:36.3. Overall, the Pioneers finished tied for fifth in the field of 14 teams, and tied for second among the Division II teams in the meet.
In the men's race, Kyler Hodges and Will Cronin each had top-15 finishes as the Pioneers claimed fourth place in the field of 12 teams. Hodges finished in 14th place for the Pioneers and Cronin followed up with a 15th-place showing.
Tusculum will return to competition on Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Greater Louisville Classic.
McMillen was in second place after one mile, trailing Brigitte Mania of the Atlanta Track Club by three seconds. By the 2-kilometer mark, McMillen had moved into the lead over Mania by nearly one second, and turned the margin into more than eight seconds over Andonet Cheruiyot of South Alabama at the two-mile checkpoint. McMillen's lead over Cheruiyot was 8 1/2 seconds and 10 seconds over third-place Millenaar with 1.4 kilometers left, but Millenaar ran the final split nearly nine seconds faster than any other competitor to edge McMillen at the finish.
Alissa Furches finished 33rd overall with a time of 19:52.9, gaining 11 spots during the course of the race. Gabrielle Becket also had a strong finish for the Pioneers, picking up 16 positions to take 73rd overall with a time of 21:51.2.
Emmi Hulse finished directly behind Beckett in 69th place at 21:53.2, while Erin Bruce was 73rd overall in 22:01.1. Brooklyn Smith crossed the line in 86th place with a time of 23:03.0, and Emily Stoklosa took 91st place with a time of 23.32.2.
The Pioneers accumulated 184 points to tie with King for fifth place. South Alabama won the meet with 29 points, followed by Samford with 45 and North Georgia with 93.
Hodges was the top finisher for the Pioneers as he took 14th place with a time of 25:49.0, followed by Cronin in 15th place at 25:50.2 for the eight-kilometer race. Both ran in the top 20 for the entire race, with Hodges gaining seven positions in the running order over the final mile. Cronin was second overall at the one-mile mark, and gained two spots in the final mile to take 15th overall.
Taylor Tupps finished 38th overall with a time of 27:30.4, followed by Carson Walls and Alex Perez who were 45th and 46th, respectively, after each were tiemed at 27:39.7. Kyle Stanley was in 68th place at 28:30.0, and Antonio Aparicio finished 88th in 29:16.4. Also running were Max Blevins who was 100th at 29:53.7, with Isaac Hybarger placing 129th in 32:39.9.
Samford's Dillon Dean won the men's individual title with a time of 24:59.8, beating Warno Potgieter of South Alabama by nearly 10 seconds after taking the lead near the midpoint of the race. South Alabama won the team championship with 32 points, followed by Samford with 40, SCAD Savannah with 100 points and the Pioneers with 106.
Wingfoot XC Classic - at Cartersville, Ga.
Tusculum finishers: 2. Nicole McMillen, 17:37.0; 33. Alissa Furches, 19:52.9; 68. Gabrielle Beckett, 21:52.2; 69. Emmi Hulse, 21:53.2; 73. Erin Bruce, 22:01.1; 86. Brooklyn Smith, 23:03.0; 91. Emily Stoklosa, 23:32.2.
Team results (top 5): 1. South Alabama, 29; 2. Samford, 45; 3. North Georgia, 93; 4. SCAD Savannah, 107; 5. King, 184; 5. Tusculum, 184.
Tusculum finishers: 14. Kyler Hodges, 25:49.0; 15. Will Cronin, 25:50.2; 38. Taylor Tupps, 27:30.4; 45. Carson Walls, 27:39.7; 46. Alex Perez, 27:39.7; 68. Kyle Stanley, 28:30.0; 88. Antonio Aparicio, 29:16.4; 100. Max Blevins, 29:53.7; 129. Isaac Hybarger, 32:39.9
Team results (top 5): 1. South Alabama, 32; 2. Samford, 40; 3. SCAD Savannah 100; 4. Tusculum 106; 5. Covenant, 123.