Cross Country: Vanderbilt struggles at Joe Piane Invitational

Vanderbilt’s men’s and women’s cross country teams both placed at 13th at Notre Dame’s annual invitational.


Vanderbilt Athletics

Vanderbilt’s men’s cross country team before competing on Friday. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Anish Mago, Deputy Sports Editor

In their third meet of the season, both Vanderbilt cross country teams placed 13th at Notre Dame’s Joe Piane Invitational. Vanderbilt’s teams each competed in one race on Friday, Sept. 30, with their total times averaged to decide team finishes. Vanderbilt’s men’s team competed in a five-mile race, while the women’s team raced on a five-kilometer (3.1 miles) course. After starting the season strong with first (women’s) and second (men’s) place finishes at the Belmont Invitational, the Commodores have struggled in their last two meets, as evidenced by their placements. 

Led by senior Niki Narayani, Vanderbilt’s women’s team was the first to compete on Friday in South Bend. Narayni was the first Commodore to cross the finish line, placing 27th overall in the race with a time of 16 minutes and 39.7 seconds. The senior was followed shortly after by a trio of Vanderbilt runners: Audrey Allman (17:21.6), Caroline Eck (17:22.8) and Cameron Fawcett (17:24.6). Following five more Commodore finishers, the women’s team finished 13th out of 20 competing teams with an average time of 17:17 at the meet.

Vanderbilt’s men’s team competed shortly after the women’s team finished, and was led by sophomore Philip Metcalf. The Austin, Texas, native earned a 24th place finish in the race, completing the course in 25:09.7. Once again, Vanderbilt’s lead finisher was followed by three Commodores finishing in close succession to one another. Shortly after Metcalf, Zach Hodges (25:50.6), Michael Schumacher (26:00.5) and Brody Haar (26:06.4) all crossed the finish line. After Vanderbilt’s final three runners completed the course, the Commodores earned a team average time of 26:05, placing them at 13th out of 14 competing men’s teams. 

The Commodores will look to improve on their times at their next meet on Oct. 15, when they will race at Oklahoma State’s Weis-Crockett Invitational.