The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Cross Country: Shaky start at Belmont Opener

After coming in first and second a year prior, both the women’s and men’s teams took a step back by finishing second and third, respectively.
Barrie Barto
Julia Rosenberg finished eight at the 2023 Belmont Opener, as photographed on Sept. 1, 2023. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto).

Vanderbilt Cross Country began the 2023 season on Friday with a trip to nearby Percy Warner Park to compete in the Belmont Opener. The regional five-kilometer event — where the women’s team finished first and the men in second last season — pitted the Commodores against Bellarmine, Belmont, Dalton State, Lipscomb, Murray State, Presbyterian, Southern Illinois, Tennessee State, Trevecca Nazarene, Western Kentucky and West Georgia.

After winning the event last season, the women’s team regressed to second place behind host Belmont — whose first five runners finished before Vanderbilt’s leader Ella Lambert crossed the finish line. After Lambert did so at 18 minutes,13.5 seconds in seventh place overall, Julia Rosenberg was right behind her at 18:15.6. Lainey Phelps came in at 18:24.2 to secure ninth place while Ashlee Gallegos (18:32.7) and freshman Catherine Sommerfield (18:36) finished in 11th and 15th, respectively.

The men’s team also suffered a performance dropoff this season as they finished in third place behind Bellarmine and Belmont. In fact, nine Bellarmine players crossed the finish line in the five-kilometer race before any Vanderbilt player — leading to an average time a full 40 seconds better than the Commodores.

The first Vanderbilt player to finish was freshman Brady Bliven (15:46.4) at 18th overall. Then came Andrew Pahnke (15:50.6) followed shortly thereafter by freshman Jackson Scruggs (15:54.4) and Dylan Ballard (15:56.1). They each finished 23rd, 25th and 27th overall, respectively. The next Commodore was Zach Hodges who came in 33rd with a time of 16:06.8.

Both teams will look to bounce back in two weeks at the Mountain Dew Invitational hosted by the University of Florida on Sept. 15. The event will also serve as a preview of the NCAA South Regional site and competitive field.

Women’s Top Five Finishers:

Lambert 18:13.5 (7th)

Rosenberg 18:15.6 (8th)

Phelps 18:24.2 (9th)

Gallegos 18:32.7 (11th)

Sommerfeld 18:36 (15th)

Men’s Top Five Finishers:

Bliven 15:46.4 (18th)

Pahnke 15:50.6 (23)

Scruggs 15:54.4 (25th)

Ballard 15:56.1 (27th)

Hodges 16:06.8 (33rd)

Leave a comment
About the Contributors
Jayce Pollard
Jayce Pollard, Non-revenue Sports Specialist
Jayce Pollard (‘25) is a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in public policy and economics and minoring in data science and Spanish. Outside of writing for The Hustler, you can catch Jayce trying to learn the rules of soccer, hating on the Arkansas Razorbacks and being chronically on Twitter. He can be reached at [email protected]
Barrie Barto
Barrie Barto, Editor-in-Chief
Barrie Barto ('25) is majoring in medicine, health & society with neuroscience and communication of science & technology minors in the College of Arts and Science. She previously served as Photography Director. When she's not strolling around campus with her camera, you can find Barrie cheering on the St. Louis Blues or tracking down the best gluten-free food in Nashville. She can be reached at [email protected].
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Vanderbilt Hustler welcomes and encourages readers to engage with content and express opinions through the comment sections on our website and social media platforms. The Hustler reserves the right to remove comments that contain vulgarity, hate speech, personal attacks or that appear to be spam, commercial promotion or impersonation. The comment sections are moderated by our Editor-in-Chief, Rachael Perrotta, and our Social Media Director, Chloe Postlewaite. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected].
All The Vanderbilt Hustler picks Reader picks Sort: Newest
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments