MEMPHIS, Tenn. (9/2/17) – The Arkansas State Cross Country teams opened the 2017 season with top-five finishes Saturday night at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic contested at Mike Rose Soccer Complex.

The women’s squad had an average time of 18:55.48 in the 5k race to place fourth among the 19 teams entered. UAB won the women’s competition with an average time of 18:33.70. The men’s team 21:08.79 in the four mile run to rank fifth among the 18 teams. Middle Tennessee had an average time of 20:06.92 to win the men’s contest.

"The women competed well and ran over 30 seconds faster than last year at this same race resulting in a top four finish among nearly 20 teams," said A-State cross country coach Kyle Chandler. "Anaelle Charles and Elizabeth Gillette did a nice job leading the team with times that are now No. 4 and No. 7 on the all-time course list. I was impressed by our No. 3 runner, Pauline Meyer, who was running the first 5K of her life; she did better than expected. The quality depth from Sammy, Becca, Erin and Greta really helped as well."

Sophomore Anaelle Charles paced the women’s team with a sixth place finish. She completed the course in 18:23.32 seconds. Sophomore Elizabeth Gillette was in the top-15 finished 13th in 18:37.76. Freshman Seth Waters was the top finisher for the men’s team, clocking a 20:50.60 in the four mile run to place 20th. Junior Rickus Jacobs was on his heels, with a time of 20:55.54 to place 23rd overall.

"True freshman Seth Waters ran really well leading the team with a time that is now No. 6 on the all time course list," said Chandler. "Rickus Jacobs finished just a few seconds back and between the two they were a solid duo up front. Not too far back were freshman Jacob Oury and Bennett Pascoe, who now own the No. 10 and No. 11 all time marks on this course. John Carder was only 15 seconds back from these two and combined they did a nice job, especially for the freshman who were running their first collegiate race and at a distance of four miles, which they have never raced before."

The A-State cross country teams return to Memphis for the Rhodes Invite September 16. The race will be held at Shelby Farm Park.